Volume 110

Nursing Homes, COVID-19, and the Consequences of Regulatory Failure

by Nina A. Kohn

This essay explores the COVID-19 crisis in America’s nursing homes and its lessons for the future of long-term care. It challenges narratives portraying nursing homes as the unfortunate victims of COVID-19 by showing how the crisis is the foreseeable result of regulatory gaps and failures that have long enabled nursing homes to engage in systemic neglect. It then shows how regulatory approaches employed in other parts of the U.S. healthcare system could be used to create a more humane and resilient long-term care system. It concludes by considering the implications of such reforms for enhancing equity and reducing structural ageism. 

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