Letter to the Hon. Josh Shapiro, Attorney General of Pennsylvania - Probe into Missing Nursing Home COVID Death Data Focuses on NY, PA, Other States
Dear Attorney General Shapiro:
We write regarding your state's COVID-19 related nursing home death data. Significant
questions remain unanswered as to why data from dozens of nursing homes in Pennsylvania
continues to be missing from the state's publicly reported database. You are likely aware of
recent public reports about the state of New York's effort to intentionally hide accurate data from
the public and potentially from the federal government. Given that context and the missing
Pennsylvania data, we are concerned that there may be a concerted effort in the state to conceal
the true scope of COVID-19 related nursing home deaths. Perhaps something else explains the
missing data, but we have yet to receive satisfactory answers for why the data remains missing.
We sent a letter to President Biden's nominee for Assistant Secretary of Health and former
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, asking for answers as to why nursing
home death data remains missing. Dr. Levine has not responded to our letter, which we have
enclosed for your reference. We ask that your office pursue answers to those same questions.
Additionally, the Republican members of the Pennsylvania delegation in the U.S. House of
Representatives sent you a letter dated February 16, 2021. That letter asked whether your office
plans to develop and publish a similar report to the report issued by New York Attorney General
in January 2021. Our understanding is that your office has not yet replied to that letter.
Given this context and the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee's jurisdiction over Medicare
reimbursement to skilled nursing facilities and congress's continued role in providing COVID-19
financial aid to states, it is imperative that we get answers to these questions. Therefore, we ask
your office to provide the following:
1. Answers to the questions regarding Pennsylvania's missing nursing home data contained
in our enclosed letter to Dr. Levine dated March 15, 2021.
2. Answers to the questions asked in the Pennsylvania Republican delegation's letter dated
February 16, 2021, regarding whether you will publish a report on COVID-19 related
nursing home death data in Pennsylvania.
3. An update on any and all efforts your office is undertaking to investigate the missing
nursing home death data and Pennsylvania's policy of requiring nursing homes to admit
or readmit COVID-19 infected patients.
If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Kaldahl (Rachel.Kaldahl@mail.house.gov) or
Sean Clerget (Sean.Clerget@mail.house.gov) on the Ways and Means Committee Republican