State auditors will review the accuracy of the number of deaths from coronaviruses linked to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Michigan.
Auditor General Doug Ringler agreed last week to conduct a comprehensive study at the request of Wayland House Supervisory Committee Chairman Steven Johnson. Johnson is one of the Republican lawmakers who has asked if there is a signature and who has criticized Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for allowing COVID-19 patients who no longer need acute care, but still in quarantine. to return to designated units in nursing homes as some hospitals have had afflicted homes.
There is no direct evidence that the policy led to infections. The governor said he respected the federal guidelines, and the state health director said the nursing homes accurately report the death toll from the virus.
In a letter to Johnson, Ringler – who lawmakers appointed for an eight-year term in 2014 – estimated that the investigation could be completed by the end of September or mid-October.
Michigan says 5,680 long-term care residents and 77 staff have died, accounting for 29% of nearly 19,800 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. The state requires long-term care facilities – nursing homes and larger homes for elderly and adult care facilities – to report deaths and infections.
Thousands of nursing homes and adult care facilities licensed to serve less than 13 residents are not required to report.
Johnson asked reviewers to review the Department of Health and Human Services ’procedures for obtaining reports of deaths from long-term care facilities, to verify whether care homes have self-reported death numbers, to keep track of death certificates and to take into account deaths in nursing homes and adult care facilities.