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Cracking down on New York nursing homes

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Posted at 2:35 PM, Dec 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-27 14:35:15-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — NYS Senator Rob Ortt wants the state to crack down on nursing homes and he's introduced proposed new laws that would better protect seniors and improve care standards.
The Tonawanda lawmaker is proposing to increase the Department of Health's authority so it can enter any nursing facility it feels poses a danger to residents. He also wants fines increased on nursing homes who do not meet state standards.
Also in Ortt's bill, allowing surprise nursing home inspections outside of normal business hours, including nights, weekends and holidays. And finally, the law would prevent nursing home owners from purchasing any new nursing homes while any of their current facilities are facing violations or compliance issues.
Ortt says he introduced the package of bills in Albany after speaking with a number of citizens who are concerned about the care their loved ones are receiving and the recent closure of some facilities here in Western New York.
It remains to be seen what kind of support the proposals might have with fellow lawmakers in Albany and it will be next month before any debate on the issue is taken up by house members.