powered by LeadingAge New York

Nursing Home Annual Pandemic Emergency Plan Bill Signed Into Law

On June 17th, Governor Cuomo signed a bill requiring nursing homes to submit an annual pandemic emergency plan to the Commissioner of Health. The legislation, A.10394-A (Lentol)/S.8289-B (Salazar), takes effect immediately and requires nursing homes to submit their emergency plan within 90 days of the bill’s effective date. The annual pandemic emergency plan must include a family communication plan regarding resident status, as well as a method to provide all residents with daily access to remote videoconferencing; plans to protect staff, residents, and families against infection; and plans to preserve a resident’s place at the facility if he or she is hospitalized. Importantly, the legislation also requires nursing homes to maintain or have access to at least a two-month supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Going forward, facility emergency plans will be submitted annually and displayed on the facility website. The Commissioner is required to review each facility for compliance with their plans and applicable regulations. Facilities are required to submit a plan of correction after receiving a notice of noncompliance within 30 days. If a facility fails to prepare its plan or comply with its plan, the facility will be subject to civil penalties.

Before its passage, LeadingAge NY advocated on this legislation and was successful in getting some amendments included, particularly around the new PPE requirement. Now that the bill has been signed by the Governor, we are awaiting guidance from the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the process for creating and submitting annual pandemic emergency plans. In the meantime, we recommend that members begin to formulate a plan that would meet these requirements, including setting up a plan for ensuring access to a two-month supply of PPE. LeadingAge NY will continue to keep members updated on this new requirement and forthcoming guidance.

Contact: Sarah Daly, sdaly@leadingageny.org