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AG Nessel Shares Review of OAG Report on Deaths in Long-Term Facilities

LANSING - Following questions related to the Office of Auditor General's (OAG) January 12 report on COVID-related deaths in long-term care (LTC) facilities and data tracked by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is sharing further analysis of the findings. 

The analysis was done by Health, Education and Family Services Division within the Department of Attorney General and notes "the characterization by legislators and various media outlets-suggesting that MDHHS intentionally underreported and misrepresented the number of COVID-19 deaths at LTC facilities-is not supported by OAG's report. OAG's report acknowledges that, for much of the discrepancy between the MDHHS's official number of LTC COVID-19 deaths and OAG's separate count, the discrepancy is based on OAG's inclusion of LTC facilities that are not included in MDHHS's count. In addition, OAG's report does not suggest any malintent by MDHHS... And, OAG's report does not discuss or address the Governor's Executive Orders related to LTC facilities during the pandemic." 

The memo's summary states, "Based on the Department's analysis, the OAG report appears to be OAG's best attempt at determining the true number of LTC COVID-19 deaths. Because OAG assessed a different population of LTC facilities and relied on an analysis of death records in MDCC (rather than the facilities' self-reporting), OAG's count of LTC COVID-19 deaths differs significantly from MDHHS's count of LTC COVID-19 deaths. The analyses are simply distinct methods of trying to reach the same number, albeit of a different set of facilities. Thus, comparing the counts is largely meaningless. Moreover, neither count was generated through malice or ill intent. And, most importantly, neither MDHHS nor OAG suggests that any law has been broken. For these reasons, based on a preliminary review and MDHHS's ongoing efforts, further investigation by the Department is unwarranted at this time." 

The memo is now available on the Department of Attorney General's website