AARP pushes Indiana to publicly release COVID-19 data

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(AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana AARP is urging the state to publicly release the names of long-term care facilities and their COVID-19 related data.

This isn’t the first time the organization has asked for this but, its director says it’s time to be louder about the issue.

“We need to make a little bit more noise around this ask to ensure that one 100% of family caregivers are getting this information,” said Indiana AARP Director Sarah Waddle.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said they are respecting the privacy of these facilities by not sharing the names and their COVID-19 data with the public. 

However, AARP of Indiana said this information doesn’t need to be private. 

“There’s no personal medical information being shared,” said Waddle. “And so I don’t think that is a barrier to releasing this information.”

Some county health departments and facilities have voluntarily decided to release this info, but AARP said that’s not fair to those who can’t get that same access.

It’s calling on the state to level the playing field. 

“They’re going to be the ones that have the most accurate and consistent data across the board,” said Waddle. “I think that will clear up a lot of confusion and will ensure that everyone has access and not just people who may get lucky and live in a certain county or people who chose a facility that is reporting.”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it would provide weekly nursing home data. Waddle said that data won’t include other long-term care facilities, like assisted living centers. 

AARP said daily data from the state would be better and more inclusive. 

The organization hopes it will be included in Indiana’s COVID-19 noon updates each day. 

“They’re already doing a lot of this updating,” said Waddle. “They’re already capturing this information, and so it’s only fair that it be reported.”

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