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Oral Arguments in Nursing Home Minimum Hours/Minimum Spending Lawsuit Postponed

The judge assigned to the lawsuit brought by LeadingAge NY challenging the State's minimum staffing and minimum direct care spending laws has postponed the oral arguments previously scheduled for Dec. 20, 2022 until Jan. 3, 2023.

As previously reported, LeadingAge NY, joined by approximately 80 non-profit and government-sponsored nursing homes, filed a petition in May 2022 seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction to prevent the enforcement of the State's minimum nursing hours and minimum direct care spending requirements. The lawsuit, Matter of LeadingAge NY v. Hochul, alleges that the two laws are preempted by federal labor and nursing home laws and violate Medicaid and Medicare requirements. It further claims that the enforcement of the minimum staffing and spending requirements represents an arbitrary and capricious executive action.

The lawsuit argues that inflexible staffing ratios and the arbitrary allocation of nurse and aide hours undermine professional discretion and fail to account for the varying needs of residents. It alleges that the one-size-fits-all standards are impossible to satisfy in the context of a declared staffing emergency and are inconsistent with a 2020 Department of Health (DOH) report on similar staffing ratio legislation. Enforcement of the law, under the circumstances, is arbitrary and irrational.

The State adopted regulations to implement the two laws on Dec. 7th. More information about the regulations is available here.

We will keep members updated about the progress of the litigation.

Contact: Karen Lipson, klipson@leadingageny.org