Submitted on behalf of New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced his office will conduct a follow-up review of the state Department of Health (DOH) after an audit released in March 2022 exposed weaknesses in DOH’s ability to address the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes.
“Families across New York suffered during the pandemic – especially those that lost loved ones in nursing homes,” DiNapoli said. “The audit released last year by my office exposed the devastating extent to which residents were not adequately protected. Now, a year later, my office is initiating a follow-up review of the Department of Health’s progress to see if they have made critical changes. New York must learn from the mistakes made during the pandemic.”
DiNapoli’s initial audit found DOH was unprepared and limited in its ability to respond to infectious disease outbreaks at nursing homes. It also found that, under the direction of the executive, DOH did not provide the public with accurate COVID-19 death counts in nursing homes.
The audit recommended that DOH improve how it prevents and responds to outbreaks, and how it collects and reports infection control data, among other recommendations. DiNapoli’s follow-up review will examine the extent to which these recommendations have been acted on.