Resort facilities

State Rep says Covid deaths in long-term facilities expected to be 30% higher in auditor’s report

Rep. Steven Johnson says the number of deaths in Michigan’s long-term care facilities is underreported by 30% in an upcoming report to be released by the state’s auditor general.

The revelation comes as Johnson released a statement regarding the report on Wednesday evening. Johnson (R-Wayland) is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee and said residents deserve to know the truth.

The state Department of Health acknowledged in a letter that a previous total of deaths in long-term care facilities related to COVID-19 was 30% lower than what the Auditor General found, said Johnson (read Department of Health and Human Services response at bottom of story).

“While I look forward to thoroughly reviewing the full report, what has been made clear is a significant and shocking undercount of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan long-term care facilities” , Johnson wrote. “The number reported by Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration was 30% lower than what the Auditor General found. Make no mistake – this is a significant discrepancy, and the report makes it clear.

Related: Michigan auditor to look at nursing home deaths

“As chairman of the House Oversight Committee, I believe it is my duty to uncover the truth for the people of Michigan – while providing them with the necessary accountability and transparency regarding their government of State. Not just for those who are Republicans or those who are Democrats. Everyone. That’s why I asked for this audit. It was important information to gather for those across our state who have loved ones. and loved ones in nursing homes and are scared, and sadly those who have lost friends and family to COVID-19 inside a nursing home or other long-term care facilities duration.”

See also: State health officials dispute auditor’s 30% discrepancy in Covid nursing home deaths

MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said in the response letter that the Auditor General’s report is not considered accurate, pointing out that the analysis does not apply the CDC’s definition of a COVID-19 death to reported by a long-term care facility.

“A reportable long-term care COVID-19 death is defined by the National Healthcare Safety Network as a resident who died from complications related to COVID-19 and includes deaths of residents in the facility and in other locations. where the
resident with COVID-19 has been transferred for treatment,” she said in the letter. “Residents who should not be returning to the long-term care facility are excluded from the count. MDHHS has always required that COVID-19 deaths in long-term care be reported according to this federally established standard. »

Related: State auditor uncovers hundreds of unreported COVID-19 deaths

Johnson then criticized Whitmer’s policies at the start of the pandemic of housing Covid patients in certain long-term healthcare facilities.

Stick with FOX 2 for more on this developing story.

Below: Read the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ response to the report.

Johnson’s full statement is below.

“While I look forward to thoroughly reviewing the full report, what has been made clear is a significant and shocking undercount of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan long-term care facilities. The number reported by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration was 30% lower, make no mistake, this is a significant discrepancy, and the report makes that clear.

“As chairman of the House Oversight Committee, I believe it is my duty to uncover the truth for the people of Michigan – while providing them with the necessary accountability and transparency regarding their government of State. Not just for those who are Republicans or those who are Democrats. Everyone. That’s why I asked for this audit. It was important information to gather for those across our state who have loved ones. and loved ones in nursing homes and are scared, and sadly those who have lost friends and family to COVID-19 inside a nursing home or other long-term care facilities duration.

“Our committee will continue to review why there was this discrepancy, as well as what changes are needed to ensure that future reports reflect accuracy instead of polling numbers. We have now seen the true significance of Governor Whitmer’s disastrous policies, and we need to make sure these tragic circumstances don’t happen again. Frankly, there are a lot of things to answer, and our legislative panel will work to get those answers.