Empire Center report examines nursing home deaths, regulation

Sam Hesler & WNYT Staff
Created: March 04, 2021 01:02 PM

After thousands of COVID-related nursing home deaths, state lawmakers are working to reform nursing home regulations by advancing legislation that would focus on nursing home staffing levels and ownership. However, a new report out from the Empire Center finds these proposals may be based on an incomplete picture.

The Empire Center says these proposed policies were originally supported by findings from the state attorney general's report on COVID-related nursing home data, which linked nursing home deaths to low staffing and for-profit ownership.

However, the Empire Center says that James' report is based on incomplete data, as it was based on data through mid-November, and was published before the state Department of Health released data on nursing home residents who died in hospitals, bringing the states COVID-related nursing home death total from around 9,000 to around 15,000.

The center says the updated data shows that lower staffing numbers and higher COVID-related deaths can't be connected.

While for-profit nursing homes showed higher death rates in general, the center argues that many were located in areas of the state that were hit the hardest by the pandemic.

Bill Hammond of the Empire Center says this new data needs to be considered.

Hear his thoughts by watching the video of Sam Hesler's story.

MORE INFORMATION: Empire Center Report on COVID-19 Patterns for Nursing Home Regulation in New York

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