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Oppose New Unfunded Mandates on Nursing Homes

Oppose A.7085-A (Paulin)/S.3572-A (Skoufis) 

LeadingAge New York opposes this legislation, which would require nursing homes to, upon declaration of a disaster emergency, develop and submit to the Department of Health (DOH) a plan designating a location for temporary on-site storage of bodies of deceased persons who pass at the nursing home. The plan would include how the nursing home would, if they do not have such storage, construct or modify such a space, or satisfy the requirement through contract with a third party to provide mobile storage spaces.

This mandate, while well-intended, would impose new and costly requirements on financially strained nursing homes who are serving medically complex residents and working to rebuild their direct-care workforce.

This legislation originates from the early days of the pandemic, an unprecedented but brief period when there was a shortage of funeral home and morgue space in New York City. Tragically, New York State and health care providers were ill-equipped to respond to the pandemic’s early impact on the densely populated city and our most vulnerable. It was an intensely devastating time for all who were impacted - including providers and dedicated staff. 

Although the issues with securing decedents that arose in the early weeks of the pandemic were largely due to insufficient capacity in funeral homes and municipal morgues that receive decedents from health care providers, this bill would impose a new and expensive requirement on nursing homes alone. The issue of managing decedent remains during emergencies is not unique to nursing homes and should be addressed by the entire community and emergency management systems in a coordinated regional approach.

New York’s nursing homes are currently facing severe workforce shortages and a Medicaid funding shortfall of over $1 billion annually. Imposing additional unfunded mandates would further strain the financial health of nursing homes and drive more providers toward closure, many of which are already operating with negative margins. By further depleting nursing homes of limited, precious funding, this legislation would have negative impacts on workforce retention efforts, and potentially resident care and quality of life. There are already 5,600 fewer nursing home beds available to consumers today than there were in 2019. In addition to those beds “offline”, eleven nursing homes have closed their doors since 2020 alone. This restriction in access to skilled nursing home care is occurring as the number of adults over age 65 is rapidly growing.

Simply put: Imposing additional unfunded mandates on financially distressed nursing homes would further challenge staffing efforts and would drive more providers toward closure. LeadingAge New York’s full memo of opposition is available here.

Enter your information below to urge lawmakers to OPPOSE A.7085-A (Paulin)/S.3572-A (Skoufis), a burdensome and costly mandate on nursing homes! The letter may be edited to fit your personal point-of-view and experience via the text box below.

 

 

Oppose New Unfunded Mandates on Nursing Homes

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Oppose New Unfunded Mandates on Nursing Homes

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Oppose New Unfunded Mandates on Nursing Homes

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