Nursing Care in NY – Lax Oversight, Fraud, Depleted PPE – the Body Count by the Numbers and Some Thoughts

THE PHOTOS (ABOVE AND BELOW) REVEAL WHAT A STATE WITH DEPLORABLE OVERSIGHT, POLITICALLY CONNECTED NURSING HOME OWNERS, AND MONEY-OVER-LIFE MORAL BANKRUPTCY LOOKS LIKE

The following link is from the State Website: https://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/diseases/covid-19/fatalities_nursing_home_acf.pdf

Forgive us if we do not trust that these numbers will remain “undoctored” tomorrow, so we have attached the PDF in photograph format. Please take a look. We maintain that it is not accurate. A few of those homes have a greater than reported body-count. 

We maintain that some of the homes on the list may have simply had a perfect storm of lousy circumstances. They may, indeed, be owned by some really and truly decent and caring people who find themselves in untenable circumstances. Covid-19 is not nursing home user-friendly. It is messy. It is expensive. It requires the owner to have a conscience. Some do. Some do not.

The vast majority of the worst hit homes have historically been plagued by health violations, abuse, lacking medical care, charging for services not performed, financial improprieties which include not only Medicare and Medicaid fraud but Worker’s Compensation fraud and human trafficking scandals. Some of it we have researched and some we have not. We are working on it.

We have been told by hospital social workers that the social workers and other hospital officials are often paid under-the-table to place certain nursing homes on the top of their lists of recommendations for patients. Since the government application for licensing requires that nursing homes prove that they can keep their beds full, it should come as no surprise that payoffs to the keep the beds full are commonplace, a cost of doing business. Personal experience supports that premise.

The government does a terrible job of holding nursing home owners accountable for the health and well-being of their patients. In fact, Governor Cuomo has already offered a quasi-absolution, for nursing home owners, which makes this  all the more disturbing.

Cuomo defends nursing home response amid growing death toll at care facilities

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is defending his administration’s policies governing nursing homes as the state reports more coronavirus deaths at long-term care facilities.

“Everybody wants to point at the nursing homes now. We knew the nursing homes were going to be target.And whatever we do they will be a target,” he said after repeated questions at his Tuesday coronavirus briefing.

His remarks came just hours after the state released new numbers showing an additional 1,700 deaths at nursing homes across the state. More than 4,800 New Yorkers in nursing homes have died from the coronavirus since March 1.

Those numbers could be even higher because the state doesn’t include patients who were transferred to hospitals and later died.

Former Governor George Pataki, slammed the governor demanding an investigation. He is unwilling to offer Cuomo’s mea culpa for nursing home owners.

Pataki slams Cuomo, calls for investigation into nursing home deaths amid coronavirus

Former Gov. George Pataki is criticizing the current governor of New York and calling for an investigation into nursing home deaths amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Pataki told The New York Post on Friday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “handling of the nursing homes has been a disaster” that may have caused “thousands” of unnecessary deaths. Nearly 20,000 people have died in U.S. nursing homes and long-term care facilities; more than a fifth have occurred in New York state, according to the Associated Press, including at least seven facilities with more than 40 deaths.

Pataki is right in his comments in the same article that Cuomo’s response to the crisis wtihin nursing homes has been a disaster, noting the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Nursing homes across the state were required to isolate residents who tested positive; provide protective gear and temperature checks for staff members; and notify all residents and their families within 24 hours if any resident tests positive or dies from coronavirus. But Pataki argued that facilities didn’t have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and patients.

Pataki, a Republican, said that Cuomo, a Democrat, should have ordered infected nursing home patients to be sent to temporary field hospitals, such as the Javits Center in New York City and the USNS Comfort hospital ship. Hundreds of beds went unused and the Comfort has since left NYC.

“I know Andrew Cuomo is one of the most popular politicians in America today. He has his briefings that are calm and informative,” Pataki told Fox News on Friday. “But when you look at the job that he is not doing when it comes to nursing homes, those beds should have been used to put the most vulnerable in those facilities … What happened in New York, in my mind, is a disgrace.”

Pataki may be wrong, however, that the nursing homes did not have enough equipment, at least with respect to some of them. They equipment stores were depleted and, in our estimation sold. We have been provided photographs and videos of nursing facilities both in New York and in Connecticut being completely and totally savagely emptied of their PPE for the staff, while at the same time, staff is complaining and getting sick with little recourse.

Unfortunately, as of publication we cannot unequivocally connect those photos to any particular home on the attached list. 

Some of that equipment we have been able to generally trace to open-market sales to other healthcare providers or hospitals, but the trail of money eludes us.  While we have theories, a direct connection between PPE sales and shortages with regard to the attached should not be assumed by our readers.

Please understand, the nursing home business is highly profitable. It fits the trifecta in the fraud triangle: Motive, Opportunity and Perceived Need. There is little to no oversight; and with so many nursing home owners donating to political campaigns, our government officials have little reason to look more closely. 

We ARE looking. You can too. 

We do wonder and will leave you with this thought: how many of the victims reported on these pages, for whom we should all be in mourning collectively, went unreported for days, thereby allowing nursing homes to continue to collect a “living wage” for their care. Were Medicare/Medicaid, families or private long-term care insurance notified of the death? Did they continue payment beyond the date of death? Anyone want to wager a guess?

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One thought on “Nursing Care in NY – Lax Oversight, Fraud, Depleted PPE – the Body Count by the Numbers and Some Thoughts

  1. Spanish officials are not the first to take another look at how they count the dead. In New York City, the official death toll jumped sharply, to over 10,000, when the authorities began including people who had not tested positive for Covid-19 but were presumed to have died from it.

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