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Compassionate Care Legislation Signed Into Law

Last week, Governor Cuomo signed into law A.1052-B (Bronson)/S.614-B (May), legislation requiring the Department of Health (DOH) to promulgate regulations to allow “personal caregiving” and “compassionate caregiving” visitors in nursing homes and adult care facilities (ACFs) when visitation is otherwise restricted. Although LeadingAge NY has been consistently advocating for greater flexibility for visitation since the summer months of 2020, we had some concerns about the implementation of this particular legislation and its potential for further complicating the inconsistencies between state and federal visitation guidance.

Before the Governor’s action on the bill, we sent him a letter explaining our concerns and recommendations. We also shared suggested amendments to make the legislation more effective in its goal and eliminate any unintended implications for providers. Fortunately, in the Governor’s approval message on the legislation, he indicated that he “secured an agreement with the Legislature to include several amendments ensuring visitation is not inadvertently overly restricted by the bill’s provisions.” LeadingAge NY has not yet seen the agreed-upon amendments to the bill; however, it is possible that they may be included in one of the outstanding final budget bills or be introduced as separate chapter amendments.

Importantly, the law is not immediately effective and requires DOH to develop regulations to allow personal caregiving visitation. Therefore, there are still several unresolved details regarding the implementation of this new law. We will continue to keep members apprised of any updates to compassionate care visitation policies as a result of this legislation, its amendments, or related regulations.

Contact: Sarah Daly, sdaly@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8845