New York lawmakers lobby nursing home and hospital staffing bills – fr

New York lawmakers lobby nursing home and hospital staffing bills – fr

New York lawmakers set to pass legislation setting minimum staffing levels for hospitals and nursing homes, saying understaffing practices at some facilities have contributed to infections and deaths by COVID-19. Health care endowment bills, which have been debated in various forms over the past decade, are expected to be passed by the state legislature as early as Tuesday. At a press conference on Tuesday, health union leaders and lawmakers urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the bills, if they pass.
A bill establishes a minimum staffing hours per resident and related provisions for nursing home care statewide. It comes after more than 13,000 New Yorkers have died from complications from COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.

The other bill requires every hospital to create a committee of nurses and administrators to develop a staffing plan. It should include specific guidelines or ratios, matrices or grids indicating the number of patients assigned to each nurse and the number of auxiliary staff in each unit. The reforms follow months of lobbying by hospital workers’ unions, patient advocates and industry groups about setting staffing standards. The governor’s office did not immediately respond to questions on the bills on Tuesday.

Members of the New York State Nurses Union, which represents more than 42,000 nurses statewide, spoke on Tuesday of working in unsafe conditions due to understaffing while battling the COVID-19 during the year.

During the press conference, a nurse described working with three aides to care for 50 residents of a nursing home. Another nurse said the patient-to-staff ratio in her pediatric intensive care unit fell from 1: 1 to 3: 1 during the pandemic. “We have seen more than ever in the past year that nursing is overwhelmed and understaffed,” said Aja Sciortino, nurse at Westchester Medical Center. “I look at them like they’re my family, and it’s so hard because I want to give them the best care I can give them, but I can’t,” said nurse Rudy Sukna, referring to residents of the Hebrew Home in Riverdale in the Bronx where he works.

What New York Healthcare Staffing Advocates Say

Meanwhile, some advocacy groups focused on nursing homes and older New Yorkers, including the AARP and the Community Long-Term Care Coalition, argued that the legislation was understaffed and lacking in provisions. application.

“While this bill is a step in the right direction in creating minimum nursing home staffing ratios where no ratio currently exists, we have several major concerns with this legislation,” the staff said. groups in a joint press release.

“Much more is needed to better protect our seniors residing in nursing homes to ensure they receive the best possible care,” they added. Among the groups’ requests for additional actions:

  • Require nursing facilities to have at least one registered nurse to provide 0.75 hours of care per resident per day, knowing that this correlates with better quality outcomes.
  • Require a registered nurse to be in the building at all times.
  • Demanding facilities maintain all nursing staff at 4.1 hours per day per resident, the threshold identified by a federal study as necessary simply to meet the basic clinical needs of nursing home residents.
  • Including clear enforcement guidelines with penalties for facilities not meeting nursing home staffing levels.
The currently debated staffing bill requires each facility to maintain daily staffing hours equal to 3.5 hours of care per resident per day by a certified nursing aide, licensed practical nurse or registered nurse.

COVID: NY caps nursing home profits and repeals COVID-19 liability protections. What there is to know

This includes at least 2.2 hours of care per resident per day provided by a certified nursing aide and at least 1.1 hours of care per resident per day provided by a registered nurse.

According to the bill. Stephen Hanse, president and CEO of the Health Facilities Association, which represents hundreds of nursing homes in New York City, said the legislation places unrealistic demands on long-term care facilities and fails to address root causes lack of staff.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, New York nursing homes struggled to recruit and retain workers and the pandemic only exacerbated the workforce crisis in the state,” he said. he said in a press release.

“Many nursing homes would appreciate the opportunity to increase staff, however, the workers are not there and the state refuses to fund efforts to recruit and retain workers for fulfilling careers in long-term care. “, he added.

Some patient advocates, however, have argued that the bills should have gone further to impose higher staffing levels and address more issues related to understaffing. They partly cited how this year’s reforms differed from earlier versions of legislation, called the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, which included specific staffing ratios for hospitals, among other provisions. Yet earlier legislation on staff safety has been blocked several times in previous years under intense lobbying from healthcare institutions.

In addition, a report from the state Department of Health last year opposed the passage of the staff safety legislation, claiming that New York’s hospitals and nursing homes would have need to hire nearly 70,000 additional nurses and other workers to meet mandatory staffing levels under the bill.

To explain its opposition to the bill, the health ministry report cited the salary costs of new hires, which could exceed $ 4 billion, insufficient labor pools and complex demands on the health system. that require flexibility in staffing.

New York nursing home, hospital reforms

The staffing bills are the latest in a series of attempts by lawmakers to improve care in hospitals and nursing homes. Earlier this year, lawmakers and Cuomo reached a budget deal that capped nursing home profits and established how much long-term care facilities must spend on resident care and staffing.

Nursing home industry reforms include a 5% cap on profits as well as a requirement for facilities to spend at least 70% of their income on direct resident care, according to budget documents.

Coronavirus: What you need to know about NY’s repeal of COVID-19 liability protections for nursing homes and hospitals

Nursing homes must also devote at least 40% of their income to staffing in contact with residents, provided that the amount is included in the expenditure for resident care. Lawmakers and Cuomo also approved the repeal of COVID-19 legal liability protections for nursing homes and hospitals under the Disaster Emergency Treatment Protection Act.

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David Robinson is the health reporter for the USA TODAY New York Network. It can be reached at [email protected] and follow up on Twitter: @DrobinsonLoHud


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