New York data has revealed that nursing home deaths in the state have been inaccurately reported by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration for the last several months. It was confirmed on January 28, 2021 that over 4,000 virus-related deaths were not originally counted due to the fact that New York has been one of the only states to count death on-ground rather than including deaths of residents being transported to hospitals as well. The state’s official tally on January 19, 2021 reported only 8,505 when data revealed that at least 12,743 had died as a result of COVID-19.
Attorney General Leticia James stressed the importance of giving accurate numbers and the “transparency that the public deserves.” Much of Governor Cuomo’s image was called into question as this new revelation discredited his acclaimed title of “pandemic hero,” a title that many families who had lost loved ones in long-term care facilities remained skeptical about. James has called the New York Department of Health’s count into investigation, hoping to clear up why numbers reported by 62 of the state’s nursing home facilities were reporting greater death counts compared to what the DOH reported. This investigation seemed to confirm findings done by an Associated Press investigation last year “that concluded that the state could be understating deaths by as much as 65%.”
With this discovery of the reality behind New York’s numbers, which now put its death toll as one of the highest in the country, several of the state’s policies have been called into question as well, including one made in March 2020 that allowed recovering COVID-19 patients to return as residents to long-term care facilities. While the health department has argued this policy has not been found to be directly related to an increase in deaths, the attorney general reported that at least 4,000 nursing home residents died from the virus shortly after this decision.
While states have some tough decisions to make regarding COVID-19, long-term care facilities must be held accountable for protecting the lives of their residents. Families deserve honest numbers and the truth behind their loved one’s deaths, and most importantly, they deserve to know their loved ones are being cared for at these facilities.
GLP Attorneys has in-depth experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases, including some of the most successful results reported in Washington State. If you feel your loved one is being mistreated at their long-term care facility, reach out to one of our attorneys today so we can help you get the justice you deserve.