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Hospitals now bearing burden of nursing home coronavirus patients

May 22, 2020 5:45 am
Bethany Bump reports in the Times Union that no one wants to house nursing home residents infected with COVID-19. First, many nursing homes were not being transparent about the reach of the outbreak in their facilities. Now a new state directive won't let hospitals discharge COVID-19 patients back to nursing homes until they test negative, and hospitals are complaining about the costs. Dr. Fred Venditti, the hospital general director for Albany Med says his hospital has racked up 133 “avoidable days,” which are days when a patient remains in the hospital after they’ve been medically cleared for discharge. Hospitals get a “case rate” for most admissions but that is not based on the number of days a patient is in the hospital. “If it continues to grow, that will create its own set of problems for all of us,” Venditti said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued the new directive to hospitals May 10 after weeks of criticism for a March 25 order that said nursing homes couldn’t turn away COVID-positive patients. Many nursing home residents have died of coronavirus in New York, and Rep. Elise Stefanik has been calling for a federal investigation of Cuomo's nursing home policy. Read more about this story in the Times Union.