The death toll in New York’s long-term care facilities jumped by another 1,516 this weekend as the Cuomo administration adjusted its reporting on adult-care facilities to include residents who died after being transferred to hospitals.

The newly disclosed deaths represented an almost eight-fold increase for assisted living and other adult-care facilities, which provide non-medical services for their elderly and disabled residents.

When combined with the recently revealed count of nursing home residents who died in hospitals, the publicly reported toll in New York’s long-term care facilities had increased by almost 5,800, or 63 percent, over the past 10 days (see table).

The Cuomo administration stresses that its new accounting of long-term care residents who died in hospitals does not represent a change in the state’s overall death toll.

Source: New York State Department of Health

The Health Department’s data on long-term care deaths had previously omitted residents who were sent to hospitals before passing away, a practice used by no other state. Officials had refused to share the full count in spite of months of queries from legislators and the media and a Freedom of Information lawsuit by the Empire Center. 

The department has recently begun disclosing those numbers in response to a critical report from the attorney general’s office and a court ruling in favor of Empire Center’s suit.

The additional data posted this weekend—broken into separate reports for assisted living facilities and other adult-care facilities—give a fuller picture of the pandemic’s overall impact, but fall far short of what the court ordered the department to release.

The Empire Center requested death counts for each day and in each facility, as the state has been collecting them throughout the pandemic. Among other things, these numbers would allow a closer analysis of the impact of the Health Department’s March 25 policy memo compelling nursing homes to admit coronavirus-positive patients.

So far, the department has provided only cumulative totals for each facility.

About the Author

Bill Hammond

As the Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy, Bill Hammond tracks fast-moving developments in New York’s massive health care industry, with a focus on how decisions made in Albany and Washington affect the well-being of patients, providers, taxpayers and the state’s economy.

Read more by Bill Hammond

You may also like

Proposed minimum staffing law could push some nursing homes to employ fewer licensed nurses

Some New York nursing homes are likely to scale back their use of higher-trained personnel if proposed minimum staffing ratios become law, according to a review of existing employment patterns. Read More

New York’s ‘Bluest’ Counties Have the Lowest COVID Vaccination Rates for Older Residents

New York's bluest counties are posting the lowest coronavirus vaccination rates for older residents, a striking contrast with the pattern in the U.S. as a whole. The disparity appea Read More

The Public Can Now See the Vaccine Task Force Recommendations that the Cuomo Administration Held Back

Even as Governor Cuomo touted vaccine approvals by a state-appointed panel of experts, his office was withholding the group's detailed findings from public view. The governor's six- Read More

New York’s Medicaid and Public Health Crises Get Short Shrift in the New State Budget

In spite of an ongoing pandemic and spiraling Medicaid costs, New York's health-care system received surprisingly little attention in the new state budget. On issue after issue, law Read More

Empire State’s new budget is a bridge to nowhere

Looking ahead to an uncertain post-pandemic recovery, New York’s newly enacted state budget for fiscal year 2022 raises spending by staggering amounts that—barring an unlikely rapid return to peak 2019 economic activity in New York City—can't possibly be sustained for more than a few years. The budget is a mid-2020s fiscal disaster in the making: an incomplete bridge over a deepening river of red ink. Read More

New York Lags in COVID-19 Vaccinations for Older Residents

In the race to vaccinate its oldest and most vulnerable residents, New York has fallen behind. Although the state's overall COVID-19 vaccination rate is somewhat higher than the nat Read More

Lawmakers Mull Medicaid Proposals That Would Speed New York Toward a Fiscal Cliff

As a budget deal nears in Albany, reining in spiraling Medicaid costs seems to be the last thing on anyone's mind. Governor Cuomo is advancing only Read More

Tax hike and huge spending increase seem likely in next NY budget

New York state today began its 2022 fiscal year without an adopted budget—which, in itself, is not a big deal. The state government can continue to pay bills and employee salaries next week if either final appropriations Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130
E-Mail: info@empirecenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo "...the Empire Center is the think tank that spent months trying to pry Covid data out of Mr. Cuomo's government, which offered a series of unbelievable excuses for its refusal to disclose...five months after it (the Empire Center) sued, Team Cuomo finally started coughing up some of the records." -Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2021

SIGN UP TO READ ABOUT THE ISSUES IMPACTING NEW YORKERS.