‘Single Dumbest Decision’: Thousands Of Recovering Coronavirus Patients Sent To New York Nursing Homes

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The Associated Press reports on troublesome efforts undertaken for a while in New York where recovering patients were sent to nursing homes, places that even Gov. Andrew Cuomo called “optimum feeding grounds for the virus.” Other nursing home developments include CMS’ new policy for recording deaths as well as reporting from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Massachusetts.

The Associated Press:
AP Count: Over 4,300 Virus Patients Sent To NY Nursing Homes

More than 4,300 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York’s already vulnerable nursing homes under a controversial state directive that was ultimately scrapped amid criticisms it was accelerating the nation’s deadliest outbreaks, according to a count by The Associated Press. (Condon, Peltz and Mustian, 5/22)

The Associated Press:
‘Invisible Demon’: Virus Hits Even Top-Rated Nursing Homes

The Abbott Terrace Health Center in Waterbury, where 41 residents have died from the coronavirus, has been cited by regulators for infection control violations and fined three times by the state and federal governments over the last several years. It has the lowest nursing home overall rating issued by the federal government — one star, for “much below average.” About 40 miles away, the Kimberly Hall North nursing home in Windsor has the highest rating, five stars, issued by CMS. It has had one infection control citation, but no state or federal fines, over the past several years. Yet 43 residents there have died from the virus. (5/21)

The Wall Street Journal:
Nursing Homes Don’t Have To Report Pre-May Covid-19 Deaths To U.S. Officials

A recently launched federal effort to collect data on the impact of the coronavirus in nursing homes will leave the full toll unclear, because a new rule doesn’t require facilities to report deaths and infections that occurred before early May. The new rule, issued May 8, compels nursing homes to submit data on coronavirus cases and associated deaths to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to a form posted on the CDC website, the information only has to go back to the week leading up to their first filing, which was supposed to occur by May 17, while older data is optional. Nursing homes will provide current data at least weekly going forward. (Wilde Mathews, 5/21)

ProPublica/Chicago Tribune:
More Than 1 In 5 Illinoisans Living In State Homes For Adults With Disabilities Have Tested Positive For The Coronavirus

While much of the attention related to COVID-19’s impact on vulnerable populations has focused on deaths at nursing homes, infection rates are remarkably high in another kind of residential setting: state-operated centers for adults with cognitive or behavioral disabilities. As of Thursday, more than 1 in 5 people living in these developmental centers had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, state data shows. That’s more than double the infection rate seen in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, where confirmed cases account for about 7% of residents, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. (Smith Richards and Cohen, 5/22)

ABC News:
In Nursing Homes, As In Wider Community, Minorities Hit Hardest By COVID, Researchers Say 

Nursing homes serving mostly minority populations are twice as likely to experience a deadly coronavirus outbreak as those with mostly white residents, according to new research on the devastating impact the highly contagious illness is having on vulnerable residential care facilities. “Our biggest predictor was race,” said R. Tamara Konetzka, a professor at the University of Chicago who led the study. “The higher percent white residents in a facility, the less likely that facility has had a single case or a single death.” (Pecorin and Mosk, 5/21)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Pa. Health Officials Quietly Alter Erroneous Nursing Home Case, Death Counts As Providers Cry Foul

Two days after the state released a long sought-after list of nursing homes where COVID-19 has infected or killed residents or staff, Pennsylvania’s top health official admitted there are errors in the data. “I have heard that there were a small number of errors,” Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said Thursday, after being confronted by lawmakers who said facilities in their districts were reporting different numbers of cases than the state had posted on its website. “We’re correcting those.” (Pattani, 5/21)

The Associated Press:
Lives Lost: At Veterans’ Home, Towering Legacies Of The Dead

Each of their stories was different, but common strains repeat: Of humility and generosity; of finding joy in the unpretentious; of a sharp mind disappearing into fog or a hale body betrayed by age. And, of service, in war or in peace, that often went unspoken when they returned home. In their final years, these veterans found their place at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts. And in their final days, as the coronavirus engulfed the home and killed more than 70, they found battle again. (Goldman and Sedensky, 5/22)


This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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