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Estimates of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Among Nursing Home Resident Not Reported in Federal Data (JAMA Network Open)

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Summary: Researchers assess the magnitude of unreported cases and deaths in the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and provide national estimates of cases and deaths adjusted for nonreporting.

This is a cross-sectional study comparing COVID-19 cases and deaths reported by U.S. nursing homes to the NHSN with those reported to state departments of health in late May 2020. The sample includes nursing homes from 20 states, with 4,598 facilities in 12 states that required facilities to report cases and 7,401 facilities in 19 states that required facilities to report deaths. Estimates of nonreporting were extrapolated to infer the national (15,397 facilities) unreported cases and deaths in both May and December 2020. Data were analyzed from December 2020 to May 2021.

Findings: The main outcome was the difference between the COVID-19 cases and deaths reported by each facility to their state department of health vs those reported to the NHSN. Among 15,415 U.S. nursing homes, including 4,599 with state case data and 7,405 with state death data, a mean (SE) of 43.7% (1.4%) of COVID-19 cases and 40.0% (1.1%) of COVID-19 deaths prior to May 24 were not reported in the first NHSN submission in sample states, suggesting that 68,613 cases and 16,623 deaths were omitted nationwide, representing 11.6% of COVID-19 cases and 14.0% of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents in 2020.

These findings suggest that federal NHSN data understated total cases and deaths in nursing homes. Failure to account for this issue may lead to misleading conclusions about the role of different facility characteristics and state or federal policies in explaining COVID outbreaks.


Article 1

Journal Article: Estimates of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Among Nursing Home Resident Not Reported in Federal Data

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Last modified at 9/9/2021 3:08 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|venetia