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Trio of bills aimed at protecting WNY seniors in nursing home care, improving care standards

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State Sen. Robert Ortt announced a series of bills he will introduce, aimed at improving care standards in nursing homes in New York State to protect seniors in their care. 

The first bill in the package would increase the Dept. of Health’s regulatory enforcement capability, requiring the presence of Independent Quality Monitors in failing nursing homes and authorizing the DOH to enter nursing facilities if conditions in the facility are believed to pose a danger to residents. 

The bill would also increase fines on nursing homes that don’t meet state standards. 

The second bill would make nursing home inspections unpredictable. It would require 40 percent of nursing home inspections to be performed outside of business hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays. 

The bills would also bar Dept. of Health employees from giving any form of advance notice to facilities prior to inspection. 

The third bill would prevent nursing home owners from purchasing new nursing homes while any of their currently-owned facilities are facing violations. 

It also creates a two-year probation period for nursing home owners who come into compliance with a violation and purchasing a new facility. 

Ortt introduced the legislation at a Thursday press conference. 

The introduction of the bills follows several “disturbing stories reported by local media outlets”, a press release from Ortt’s office said Thursday. 

The now-shuttered Emerald South facility in Buffalo experienced two patient deaths over two years. 

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