AARP: Stop NYS’s COVID Nursing Home Tragedy & Don’t Let it Happen Again; Enact NYS Senate Agenda
Bills Approved by NYS Senate Health Committee Would Improve Residents’ Health, Bring Peace of Mind, Transparency
ALBANY, N.Y.— AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel released the following statement on today’s New York State Senate Health Committee approval of a package of nursing home reform bills:
“New York State’s undercounting of nursing home resident deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic by as much as 50 percent and nursing homes’ failure to comply with infection control protocols, as revealed by Attorney General James’ January 28 report, cry out for action.
“AARP New York appreciates the leadership of State Senate Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera and the committee’s approval of a package of nursing home reform legislation that would improve the health and well-being of nursing home residents, bring peace of mind to family caregivers, and increase transparency to New York’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
“What has happened to our parents, grandparents, spouses and loved ones in nursing homes during the past 11 months is a tragedy. We should stop it now and never let it happen again. AARP New York fully supports these bills as a strong first step, and we urge the full Legislature to pass them and Governor Cuomo to sign them into law.”
The bills would:
- Require the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to provide written, public updates to the Draft New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Program Plan (S1162A – Kennedy);
- Direct DOH to establish and implement an infection inspection audit and checklist on residential care facilities, nursing homes and long-term care facilities (S1783 – Skoufis);
- Require adult care facilities to include quality assurance committees and a focus on infection control in their quality assurance plans (S1784 – Skoufis);
- Establish requirements for transferring and discharging residents from residential health care facilities, including for voluntary discharges (S3058 – Rivera);
- Require improved reporting of communicable diseases and resulting deaths (S3061 – Rivera), and;
- Allow for “compassionate caregiving” visitors to nursing home residents (S614A – May).
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.