Local Officials Say a Nursing Home Dumped Residents to Die at Hospitals

by Joe Sexton and Joaquin Sapien: For Entire Post, Go Here…

ngd- In the early ’70s, state institutions facing the coming of deinstitutionalization, used a similar tactic. Since they had to report deaths in the facilities, they sent home people who they thought would die soon, so they would die at home and not have to be reported…

The deaths of 18 residents of a New York nursing home highlight the continuing controversy over the Cuomo administration’s decision not to count deaths in hospitals as nursing home deaths. The home denies the allegations.

The nurse with the Columbia County Health Department recorded the COVID-19 deaths at nearby hospitals — two at Albany Medical Center on May 4, another at the same hospital two days later; one at Columbia Memorial Hospital on May 17, and another there two days later — and, along with her boss, concluded there was a pattern.

The people dying at the hospitals had been residents of a local nursing home, the Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Barnwell in the tiny town of Valatie, New York. In all, the nurse counted 18 deaths of residents over five weeks. She didn’t have detailed medical records for the patients, but she noted that all had arrived at the hospital with orders saying no extraordinary measures were to be taken to keep them alive. As a result, she and the Columbia County health director developed a theory: “For me,” said Jack Mabb, the health director, “it appeared they were sending people to the hospital so they wouldn’t die in the facility.”

A change in the way New York tabulated nursing home deaths could have incentivized such behavior, he said, making homes’ records on COVID-19 containment appear better than they were.

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