COVID-19: Eight Dead, 89 Infected In Outbreak At Connecticut Nursing Home

Link:https://dailyvoice.com/new-york/northsalem/news/covid-19-eight-dead-89-infected-in-outbreak-at-connecticut-nursing-home/819985/

Excerpt:

Eight residents of a Connecticut nursing home have died during a COVID-19 outbreak that has lasted nearly six weeks.

A total of 89 employees and residents have tested positive since the outbreak began at the Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, located in Litchfield County, in the Town of Canaan, on Thursday, Sept. 30.

“Despite seeing significant numbers of residents recovering from Covid,” the facility’s chief executive Kevin O’Connell and nursing director Cady Bloodgood said in a statement. “testing has resulted in one additional positive case among fully vaccinated residents and staff members. Sadly, we have lost eight residents with serious underlying health issues to Covid.”

Author(s): Joe Lombardi

Publication Date: 14 Nov 2021

Publication Site: Daily Voice

Nursing homes warn vaccine mandate could lead to staff shortages

Link: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/570807-nursing-homes-warn-vaccine-mandate-could-lead-to-staff-shortages

Excerpt:

The Biden administration’s vaccination requirement is putting a squeeze on nursing homes as they try to balance protecting residents and retaining low-wage staff that have been reluctant to get the shot.

Later this month, the administration will outline a policy that requires all staff working at nursing homes to be vaccinated or risk the facilities losing federal funding.

The specifics of the policy are sparse so far, but it would effectively be a mandate for an industry that relies heavily on Medicare and Medicaid funding.https://aef67baff698e02f95a8ec2b0d53753d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Only about 62 percent of nursing home and long term care facility staff are fully or partially vaccinated nationally, according to federal data compiled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

…..

“The biggest group of unvaccinated staff are certified nurse aides. They’re making close to minimum wage. They can make that, maybe even more, plus maybe even better benefits out in retail jobs, restaurant jobs. The vast majority of those employers are not imposing mandates,” Grabowski said.

Author(s): NATHANIEL WEIXEL

Publication Date: 4 September 2021

Publication Site: The Hill

Report and Recommendations of the Task Force on Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care

Link: https://nysba.org/app/uploads/2021/06/11.-Task-Force-on-Nursing-Home-and-Long-Term-Care-Report-staff-memo-and-comments-6.11.2021.pdf

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Because of the anticipated need for large numbers of hospital beds, the Governor, in his first Executive Order issued under his emergency powers, authorized hospitals to “rapidly discharge” patients47. An especially important event in terms of the State’s health care capacity occurred on March 23rd. On that date, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order requiring that all hospitals cancel elective surgeries to free up hospital beds, and urged that hospitals go beyond the order and increase their capacity by 100%. Health officials said that day that New York had 53,000 hospital
beds with an anticipated need due to COVID-19 of 113,000. Officials also stated that New York had 3,000 ICU beds with an anticipated need due to COVID-19 of 18,000.


Two days later, on March 25th, the Department of Health issued the now infamous Advisory to nursing homes. The Advisory was explicitly issued out of concern for hospital capacity. It said so in its second sentence. “There is an urgent need to expand hospital capacity in New York State to be able to meet the demand for patients
with COVID-19 requiring acute care.” The Advisory went on to state the expectations for nursing homes.

Author(s): New York State Bar Association Task Force on COVID-19 in New York Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care

Publication Date: June 2021

Publication Site: New York State Bar Association

Cuomo Aides Spent Months Hiding Nursing Home Death Toll

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/28/nyregion/cuomo-aides-nursing-home-deaths.html?smid=tw-share

Excerpt:

Aides to the New York governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, repeatedly prevented state health officials from releasing the number of nursing home deaths in the pandemic.

The effort by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office to obscure the pandemic death toll in New York nursing homes was far greater than previously known, with aides repeatedly overruling state health officials over a span of at least five months, according to interviews and newly unearthed documents.

Mr. Cuomo’s most senior aides engaged in a sustained effort to prevent the state’s own health officials, including the commissioner, Howard Zucker, from releasing the true death toll to the public or sharing it with state lawmakers, these interviews and documents showed.

A scientific paper, which incorporated the data, was never published. An audit of the numbers by a top Cuomo aide was finished months before it became publicly known. Two letters, drafted by the Health Department and meant for state legislators, were never sent.

….

The Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing home death data now is the subject of a federal investigation, one of at least four overlapping inquiries into the governor and his administration. As of this month, more than 15,500 nursing home residents with Covid-19 have died.

Author(s): Goodman, J David; Mckinley, Jesse; Hakim, Danny.

Publication Date: 28 April 2021

Publication Site: New York Times

Measuring the COVID-19 Policy Response Around the World

Link: https://freopp.org/measuring-the-covid-19-policy-response-around-the-world-2e37a7a97bc8

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In the U.S., 38% of all deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in nursing homes and assisted living facilities that house only 0.6% of the U.S. population. The failure to protect this population is not only a problem in the U.S., however; a survey of international countries found similar results.

Indeed, among 22 countries reporting care home fatalities, the U.S. sits squarely in the middle in terms of the share of fatalities occurring in care homes. Among WIHI countries, Canada (80%) and Australia (75%) had the highest concentration of fatalities in nursing homes, whereas Singapore (11%) and Hungary (23%) the lowest.

While Ireland reported a care home fatality share of 56%, its true share is closer to Canada’s, because Ireland, Finland, New Zealand, and Norway do not report deaths of care home residents who die outside of long-term care facilities. In other countries, roughly one-quarter of COVID-19 deaths of care home residents occur in hospitals and other external locations.

Author(s): Avik Roy

Publication Date: 5 April 2021

Publication Site: FREOPP

Mortality with Meep: Location of Death Data for 1999-2020, Entire United States

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-looking-at-location

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For a few locations, it’s pretty clear that COVID explains almost all their excess deaths: inpatient healthcare facilities and nursing homes. Indeed, it looks like over 100% of the nursing home excess mortality came from COVID, which accords with what I see with excess mortality for older people.

However, there is a lot of excess mortality for people who died at home, and most of that is currently unexplained by COVID.

I don’t think it will be — I think we will find those excess diabetes, heart attack, and ‘unintentional injury’ deaths will have been at home, and because of lockdowns there weren’t other people around to get these people to treatment before they died. This accords with what Emma Woodhouse saw for Illinois – that pattern holds for the entire U.S., it seems.

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 20 April 2021

Publication Site: STUMP at substack

Maggots, Rape and Yet Five Stars: How U.S. Ratings of Nursing Homes Mislead the Public

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/13/business/nursing-homes-ratings-medicare-covid.html

Excerpt:

Much of the information submitted to C.M.S. is wrong. Almost always, that incorrect information makes the homes seem cleaner and safer than they are.

Some nursing homes inflate their staffing levels by, for example, including employees who are on vacation. The number of patients on dangerous antipsychotic medications is frequently understated. Residents’ accidents and health problems often go unreported.

In one sign of the problems with the self-reported data, nursing homes that earn five stars for their quality of care are nearly as likely to flunk in-person inspections as to ace them. But the government rarely audits the nursing homes’ data.

Data suggest that at least some nursing homes know in advance about what are supposed to be surprise inspections. Health inspectors still routinely found problems with abuse and neglect at five-star facilities, yet they rarely deemed the infractions serious enough to merit lower ratings.

At homes whose five stars masked serious problems, residents developed bed sores so severe that their bones were exposed. Others lost the ability to move.

Author(s): Silver-Greenberg, Jessica; Gebeloff, Robert.

Publication Date: 13 March 2021

Publication Site: New York Times

F.B.I. Investigating Whether Cuomo Aides Gave False Data on Nursing Homes

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/19/nyregion/cuomo-nursing-homes-covid.html

Excerpt:

The state revealed the full count — which added thousands of additional deaths — only in January, after a report by the state attorney general suggested an undercount, and after a state court ordered the data be made public in response to a lawsuit filed by the Empire Center, a conservative think tank. As of this month, New York has recorded the deaths of more than 15,000 nursing home residents with Covid-19.

Melissa DeRosa, Mr. Cuomo’s top aide, tried to explain why the administration had withheld the data last year to state lawmakers in a conference call, saying she and others “froze” because of the federal request for data, which came in late August as the governor faced criticism over nursing homes.

But more than two months earlier, in June, Ms. DeRosa and other aides removed such data from a report prepared by the Health Department, an investigation by The New York Times found.

Author(s): J. David Goodman, Nicole Hong and Luis Ferré-Sadurní

Publication Date: 19 March 2021

Publication Site: New York Times

Federal probe into nursing home COVID-19 death coverup circles closer to Cuomo

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/03/19/federal-probe-into-nursing-home-covid-death-coverup-gets-closer-to-cuomo/

Excerpt:

Investigators have contacted lawyers for Cuomo’s aides, interviewed senior state Health Department officials and subpoenaed the governor’s office for documents relating to the alleged data coverup, the sources said.

The New York Times first reported the probe earlier Friday, citing four unnamed sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Health officials are being grilled about nursing home-related COVID-19 case and death data the state submitted last year to the Justice Department, sources told The Post.

Author(s): Larry Celona

Publication Date: 19 March 2021

Publication Site: NY Post

Report: FBI Now Probing Cuomo’s Corporate Immunity Law

Link: https://www.dailyposter.com/p/report-fbi-now-probing-cuomos-corporate

Excerpt:

The probe follows a Daily Poster investigative series detailing how one of Cuomo’s biggest donors, the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) — a lobby group that represents hospital systems and nursing home operators — said it “drafted and aggressively advocated for” the corporate immunity provision. Cuomo’s administration quietly inserted the measure into his state’s budget as thousands lay dying from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes. 

Critics say that the immunity law removed a key deterrent to corporate malfeasance, and victims and their families were subsequently stripped of their legal rights. Cuomo’s original executive order shielding front line health care workers from lawsuits was widely reported, but not the governor’s separate budget language extending immunity to hospital and nursing home corporations’ executives and board members. 

Author(s): David Sirota, Joel Warner, Andrew Perez, Julia Rock

Publication Date: 18 March 2021

Publication Site: Daily Poster

COVID-19 Nursing Home Data

Link: https://data.cms.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-Nursing-Home-Data/bkwz-xpvg/

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The Nursing Home COVID-19 Public File includes data reported by nursing homes to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) system COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility Module, including Resident Impact, Facility Capacity, Staff & Personnel, and Supplies & Personal Protective Equipment, and Ventilator Capacity and Supplies Data Elements.
For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please click here.
For a full list of variables included in this Public Use File (PUF) and their descriptions, please see the data dictionary. The file contains an individual record for each certified Medicare skilled nursing facility/Medicaid nursing facility and the ending date for each collection week, and is updated weekly. More information on CMS requirements for reporting COVID-19 information can be found here. We note that the presence of cases of COVID-19 in a nursing home does not automatically indicate noncompliance with federal requirements. This information is used to assist with national surveillance of COVID-19 in nursing homes, and support actions to protect the health and safety of nursing home residents.

Date Accessed: 15 March 2021

Publication Site: CMS