Consumer Groups: Nursing Home Staffing Bill Misses the Mark
Urge Registered Nurse Requirements, Mandatory Penalties, Staffing Levels More in Line with Federally Identified Thresholds
ALBANY, N.Y.— The consumer organizations and their representatives listed below issued the following joint statement on state legislation to establish nursing home staffing ratios as proposed in S6346-Rivera/A7119-Gunther:
“We appreciate state legislators’ commitment to improving nursing home care, dignity, and safety by establishing minimum staffing requirements. New York’s residents and families deserve to know that any licensed facility they go to will have safe staffing. New York taxpayers have the right to expect that they will get value for the billions of dollars they invest in nursing home care.
“While this bill is a step in the right direction by creating minimum nursing home staffing ratios where no ratios currently exist, we have several major concerns with this legislation.
“Much more is needed to better protect our seniors residing in nursing homes to ensure they receive the best care possible.
“We believe the bill should be improved by:
- Requiring nursing facilities to have at least one registered nurse (RN) provide .75 hours of care per resident per day – recognizing that increased RN staffing hours correlate to better quality outcomes.
- Requiring an RN in the building 24/7.
- Including a requirement to maintain all nursing staff at 4.1 hours per day per resident. This is the threshold identified by an important federal study as necessary just to provide for the basic clinical needs of nursing home residents.
- Including clear enforcement guidelines with penalties for facilities not complying with nursing home staffing levels.”
AARP New York, Beth Finkel, State Director
Long Term Care Community Coalition, Richard J. Mollot, Executive Director
Center for Elder Law & Justice, Karen Nicolson, CEO
Metro Justice, Ken Traub and MaryDel Wypych, co-chairs; Barbara Baer, co-chair Emeritus
Coalition of Institutionalized Aged and Disabled, Geoff Lieberman, Executive Director
Community Service Society of NY, Elisabeth R. Benjamin, MSPH, JD, Vice President, Health Initiatives
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.