Proposed legislation would establish independent investigation into New York’s 15,000 COVID-related nursing home deaths

The New York State Senate Health Committee recently passed legislation that would allow a temporary, independent commission to investigate the roughly 15,000 COVID-related nursing home deaths that occurred in the state.

The investigation would look into the state’s undercounting of nursing home deaths and review an audit from the state Comptroller’s Office that found the Department of Public Health was ill-prepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to WETM.

Related: Audit confirms DOH was ill-prepared to respond, undercounted COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes

The investigation has garnered support from both Republicans and Democrats. Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and Senator Tom O’Mara, both Republicans, said the legislation aims to prevent further nursing home tragedies in the event of another public health emergency.

The bill is now with the Senate Finance Committee before making its way to the State Senate for a vote.

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