WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sens. Ron Wyden and Bob Casey applauded the Biden Administration Wednesday for publishing user-friendly data on the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations among residents and workers at more than 15,000 individual nursing homes across the country.
The move comes after multiple requests from Wyden (D-OR) and Casey (D-PA) to put this data in the hands of nursing home residents, workers and families.
“This important step will help families easily access key data about the safety of their loved ones,” said Wyden, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “COVID-19 caused untold tragedy for hundreds of thousands of Americans living and working in nursing homes. With these easy-to-access tools, families will no longer have to wonder how safe a prospective or current nursing home might be for their loved ones.”
“Patients, families and workers deserve transparent and timely data on vaccination rates in nursing homes,” said Casey, Chair of the Senate Aging Committee. “I applaud the Biden Administration for putting COVID-19 vaccine data at the fingertips of nursing home residents and their families, which will help them make better-informed decisions about their care, and allow nursing home workers to better gauge the safety of their work. COVID-19 devastated nursing homes, and my hope is that this important transparency measure will help make this important part of the health care system a safer place to receive care and work.”
On September 10, Wyden and Casey called for improving consumer access to COVID-19 vaccine data in nursing homes by placing it on Care Compare, the one-stop shop for consumers seeking to find out more information about providers participating in the Medicare program. Casey also authored an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer calling for the Administration to act. In March 2021, the senators called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to collect and release this data, which the Biden Administration began doing in June—however, the data was previously hosted on separate websites that were difficult to navigate. The senators first called for nursing home COVID-19 vaccine data to be collected and published in December 2020, at the time vaccines for the disease first became available.
Nearly 200,000 people living and working in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Wyden and Casey have been pushing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase transparency about the impact of COVID-19 in nursing homes since early 2020, when they first called on the Trump Administration to publish data about infections, deaths and shortages of workers and supplies.
The Care Compare website is https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare.