A damning watchdog report found that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s directive to nursing homes forcing them to accept coronavirus patients discharged from hospitals may have caused up to 1,000 more deaths among elderly residents.
The nonprofit Empire Center for Public Policy released its report Thursday. The report, which uses information from the state health department, found that the controversial order was “associated with” more than one in six of the 5,780 nursing home deaths that occurred in New York state statewide between the end of March and beginning of May.
Cuomo has yet to respond to the damaging information contained in the report.
The high number of nursing home deaths in New York since the beginning of the pandemic has dogged Cuomo for nearly a year, in particular his administration’s policy of requiring nursing homes to admit coronavirus-positive patients after they were discharged from the hospital. Additionally, the state had been tabulating the deaths of nursing home residents who died after being transported to the hospital as hospital deaths, making it difficult to ascertain the actual number of residents who died in nursing homes. A report issued by New York Attorney General Letitia James found that the state undercounted nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent.