Genesis Healthcare Inc., which is among the largest nursing home operators in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, said Wednesday that the company has made significant progress in controlling the spread of the coronavirus in its 361 facilities in 25 states.
“We have seen a clear flattening of the curve over the last two weeks,” Richard Feifer, chief medical officer for the Kennett Square company, said during a conference call about the company’s earnings for the three months ended March 31.
Genesis said that 187, or slightly more than half, of its nursing homes have had at least one case of COVID-19 among patients. Currently, 133 of the Genesis facilities have self-imposed admissions bans. Such a ban had been in place at as many as 233 nursing homes, including those where at least one employee tested positive.
“Each day, we are learning that others can come off of that selectively. So that trend is improving,” Feifer said. Buildings are cleared for new admissions when the virus is contained in one or just a few units, he said.
Feifer touted Genesis Healthcare’s results from state and federal inspections of infection-control practices during the pandemic. He said 95% of the 294 inspections found no deficiencies.
The impact of the self-imposed admissions bans and the widespread suspension of non-urgent surgeries that require a stay in a nursing home for rehabilitation has cut deeply into Genesis admissions. During the first three months of the year, 88 percent of the beds in Genesis facilities were in use. For May, that figure is expected to be 76 percent, company officials said.
At the same time, Genesis is expecting to incur $21 million in added expenses this month caused directly by COVID-19. The increases included more overtime and bonus pay, higher prices for and more usage of personal protective equipment, food for staff, and enhanced cleaning, the company said.
Last month, Genesis designated PowerBack Rehabilitation sites in Philadelphia and Voorhees as places that would have COVID-only floors to accept virus-positive patients from hospitals.
PowerBack is a Genesis brand that is focused on patients who need short-term stays after a hospitalization, typically after surgery. Because most non-urgent surgeries, for procedures such as joint replacements, have been on hold, those facilities had plenty of space.
The company operates more than 30 nursing homes in the Philadelphia region.
Genesis officials did not estimate the financial impact of COVID-19 on the quarter ending June 30, but they said the company had received $180 million in federal anti-coronavirus grants and had taken advantage of other programs to boost the amount of cash it has to pay bills.
The company reported net income of $33.5 million on revenue of $1 billion in the first quarter. Genesis shares closed at $1.01, down $0.15, on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.