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LeadingAge NY Testifies at Assembly Hearing on Nursing Homes

LeadingAge NY testified at a hearing on nursing home quality and oversight convened by the Assembly Health and Aging Committees on Nov. 20th in New York City. Our testimony provided overall context on nursing home operations, with focuses on funding and other challenges and opposition to nurse staffing ratios.

Panelists included Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Chair of the Health Committee; Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon; and Assemblyman Charles Barron. Consumer advocates who testified raised concerns about staffing adequacy, pressure ulcers not being cited as patient harm, inappropriate discharges (including to homeless shelters), overuse of antipsychotic drugs, and inadequate investments in the state’s ombudsman program. They urged passage of legislation on the following: staffing ratios, preventing nursing homes from rectifying fines, and requiring nursing homes to have disaster plans and review them every six months. An attorney also urged the Assembly to enact a state law that would ban nursing homes from participating in Medicaid if they require their prospective residents to sign pre-admission arbitration agreements.

At least one of the Assemblymembers also expressed concern about the sales of not-for-profit and public facilities to for-profit operators. The Department of Health (DOH) was asked to testify but did not appear. A follow-up hearing with the agency may be scheduled in the near future.

Contact: Dan Heim, dheim@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8866