New York State Attorney General Letitia James at a news conference in New York, Aug. 6, 2020.



Photo:

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

From a Jan. 28 press release issued by New York state’s attorney general’s office:

Attorney General

Letitia James

today released a report on her office’s ongoing investigations into nursing homes’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, Attorney General James has been investigating nursing homes throughout New York state based on allegations of patient neglect and other concerning conduct that may have jeopardized the health and safety of residents and employees.

Among those findings were that a larger number of nursing home residents died from COVID-19 than the New York State Department of Health’s (DOH) published nursing home data reflected and may have been undercounted by as much as 50 percent. . . .

Preliminary data obtained by OAG suggests that many nursing home residents died from COVID-19 in hospitals after being transferred from their nursing homes, which is not reflected in DOH’s published total nursing home death data. Preliminary data also reflects apparent underreporting to DOH by some nursing homes of resident deaths occurring in nursing homes. In fact, the OAG found that nursing home resident deaths appear to be undercounted by DOH by approximately 50 percent.

OAG asked 62 nursing homes (10 percent of the total facilities in New York) for information about on-site and in-hospital deaths from COVID-19. Using the data from these 62 nursing homes, OAG compared: (1) in-facility deaths reported to OAG compared to in-facility deaths publicized by DOH, and (2) total deaths reported to OAG compared to total deaths publicized by DOH.

In one example, a facility reported five confirmed and six presumed COVID-19 deaths at the facility as of August 3 to DOH. However, the facility reported to OAG a total of 27 COVID-19 deaths at the facility and 13 hospital deaths—a discrepancy of 29 deaths.

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Appeared in the February 1, 2021, print edition as ‘Notable & Quotable: Covid in Nursing Homes.’



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