As long-term care providers look to reinvent their models in a post-COVID world, Green House and small house nursing homes “are an especially promising model,” according to a study published online on Jan. 25 in JAMDA, the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
Titled “Nontraditional Small House Nursing Homes Have Fewer COVID-19 Cases and Deaths,” the study found that nursing homes created under Green House and small house models have significantly fewer cases and deaths from COVID-19 than traditional nursing homes do, including those with less than 50 beds and more than 50 beds, especially among the higher and extreme values.
The study analyzed data from Green House/small house homes and compared it to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for traditional nursing homes between Jan. 20, 2020, and July 31, 2020.
Researchers noted that Green House/small house homes “are beneficial above and beyond the mere benefit of size, perhaps due to their private bedrooms and bathrooms, limited ancillary staff, and fewer admissions.” Also noted is the potential advantage that small size homes offer elders with regard to psychosocial well-being. “Families may be more able to have socially distanced outdoor visits, and having consistent, universal staff may allow for the maintenance of social relationships,” the paper states.
“One of the things that most passioned me about studying the Green House model and COVID-19 is that it was a slam dunk to think this is a model of care that probably has fewer infections because they’re smaller, with less chance of people coming in and out with infections, and more ability to control exposure when it occurs,” said Sheryl Zimmerman, PhD, lead researcher on the study. “In addition, the model may be able to help residents avoid some of the negative components of COVID.”
Green House Senior Director Susan Ryan said of the study: “The results of this research are not a surprise to our adopters. We’ve known for some time that Green House offers superior customer satisfaction, better occupancy rates, and higher direct care time. This research takes us to a new level of evidence. We’re proud of this fact and we’re proud of the adopters across the country who believed in the model, dared to be different, and took the leap to revolutionize eldercare.”
The study’s researchers noted that more than half of Americans who survive to age 65 will require long-term care, yet most would rather die than live in a nursing home. “Nontraditional Green House/small nursing homes have better outcomes than traditional nursing homes in numerous areas; evidence now demonstrates they have lower rates of COVID-19 and COVID-19 mortality than other nursing homes as well. As such, they are an especially promising model as nursing homes are reinvented post-COVID.”
The study will be published in the March print issue of JAMDA.
Director of Communications