CORNING, NY (WETM) – Nursing home reform legislation is included in the $212 billion budget deal that has been reached among New York State leaders in Albany.
The reform creates a five percent cap on profits for nursing homes and demands a large percentage of revenues be dedicated to resident care and staffing.
The complete budget has not been released yet, but highlights of have been made public.
Enhancing Nursing Home Quality of Care: The Enacted Budget includes comprehensive nursing home reform legislation to help ensure facilities are prioritizing patient care over profits. These reforms establish minimum thresholds for nursing home spending of 70 percent of revenues on direct resident care and 40 percent of revenues on resident-facing staffing, capping profits at five percent, and targeting unscrupulous related party transactions. Excess revenues recouped by the State will be deposited into the existing nursing home quality pool for further investments for nursing homes to meet high quality standards. Now, more than ever, it is important that nursing homes are staffed to provide high quality care and safety for their residents. These initiatives will have a positive impact on nursing home residents and staff, delivering the quality of care needed for the most vulnerable New Yorkers in a safe environment.
State Senator Tom O’Mara, does not agree with how the state is forcing changes onto nursing homes.
“Rather than coming up with some sort of workable staffing ratio which has been sought for in the industry for a long time, they come up with this convoluted method of telling owners of facilities how much percentages of their revenues they have to spend in what areas,” O’Mara said.
WETM has reached out to several nursing homes in the area for comment. While many of them were unavailable, the spokesperson for the Corning Center nursing home emailed a statement.
“Although Centers Health Care doesn’t comment on finances and spending, it is too early to decide on certain spending with regards to the new budget bills. Any decision that is and will be made is solely based upon the needs, health and safety for our residents and staff,” Spokesperson Jeff Jacomowitz said.
These changes come on the heal with the recent bill repealing blanket legal protections given to health care facilities dealing with COVID patients.