The state Department of Health said it issued a “statement of deficiencies” to the nursing home with violations that included “infection control concerns, failure to report accurately upon request by the department, and failure to communicate with families and residents in a timely fashion regarding COVID-19 deaths.”
The 751-bed nursing home has to submit a correction plan to be reviewed by the DOH. It could face fines ranging up to $10,000 if any violation directly resulted in patient harm, the DOH said.
The agency’s probe came after The Post reported that 119 people had died at the home from March 1 through early May, although the home said it had just 14 COVID-19 related deaths at the facility and another 11 residents who died in the hospital.
After the DOH launched its probe, the Hebrew Home was forced to go through the records of everyone who died and substantially revised its count. It said as of Monday 28 deaths were reclassified as possibly COVID-19 related bringing the total to 63 since March 1.
A Hebrew Home spokesman said the DOH found only “minor deficiencies” after its inspection, including problems related to signs on residents’ doors and the types of questions asked of staff about exposure to COVID-19.
The communication lapses were tied to the reclassification of the COVID-19 deaths, spokeswoman Wendy Steinberg said.
“Since these were not classified as COVID-related cases, we did not communicate about them at the time. All reclassified residents have been reported,” she said.
She said the home had been adhering to federal regulations to notify families of COVID-19 deaths at the facility, which took effect on May 8.