NYSBA talks long-term care task force report, nursing home order

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A recently released report from the New York State Bar Association looks at the COVID-19 impact on nursing homes and long-term care facilities. It also addressed the March 25, 2020 order requiring nursing homes to re-admit COVID positive patients. The NYSBA report says it “could have been rescinded” on or about April 23rd last year, “the date the Comfort set sail, if not sooner.”

But, Co-Chair of NYSBA’s Task Force on Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care, Hermes Fernandez, says it wasn’t an unreasonable decision to issue the order at the time last March, given the concern about hospital beds and what was known about the virus at the time.

“Clearly this order did not cause 15,000 deaths, but we do think it had an impact,” he said.  

Fernandez notes the study was conducted by lawyers, not epidemiologists, and they couldn’t say exactly how much of an impact it made. The order was in effect for about a six-week period until the policy was changed amid backlash. An AP report this February found that more than 9,000 recovering COVID patients were sent back to nursing homes under the order. 

There was another issue NYSBA couldn’t address about the order. “Whether it had a positive impact on hospitals? Did the order free up space in hospitals?” Fernandez said.

Thursday, New York GOP Chair Nick Langworthy referenced the NYSBA report at a press conference where he called for the legislature to draft articles of impeachment against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“What they did confirm was what we’ve all known that Cuomo’s March 25th executive order cost New York seniors’ lives,” Langworthy said. 

In a statement, a New York State Department of Health Spokesperson said that the NYSBA report “supports” what the Department has said “all along” and that, “Sadly, this is yet another example of some politicians pushing their political agendas and personal vendettas.”

The full report and its recommendations can be read on the NYSBA website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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