Health: New York AG Report on Nursing Homes

The Story:

The New York Attorney General’s office issued a report Thursday, January 28, about the state’s nursing homes, and their responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. It found, sometimes in scathing terms, that residents of nursing homes have suffered unnecessarily, and at an alarming rate. It goes into a lot of details about the reasons for this, and about the reactions of New York’s Department of Health.

Significance:

One significant finding of the report in that the Health Department has under-reported nursing home deaths due to the coronavirus. It may only have reported half the actual number of such deaths.

A separate though a related concern arises from the definitions used in such counts. When a resident of such a facility contracted the virus at the home, was later hospitalized, and in time died at that hospital rather than the facility, the Health Department has been treating it as a non-nursing-home death. That allows the nursing homes to present themselves as much less dangerous places than they have been!

In Pill Form:

The nursing home managements have limited immunity provisions for any negligence on their part in allowing the spread of the virus. As the AG’s report observes, “it remains unclear to what extent facilities or individuals can be held accountable if found to have failed to appropriately protect the residents in their care.”

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