Gov. Cuomo announces broad nursing home reform legislation

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Posted at 3:15 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 15:15:17-05

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that his administration is producing broad nursing home reform legislation, aiming to increase transparency, holding operators accountable for misconduct, and prioritizing patient care over profit.

The reforms include the following

  • Requiring nursing homes to post their rates for each payer source on a public website, updated annually.
  • Requiring the posting of all facility owners.
  • Requiring the posting of a list of all contracts or other agreements entered into for provision of goods or services for which any portion of Medicaid or Medicare funds are used by the facility within 30 days of execution of the agreement.
  • Requiring information regarding staff be included in an application to establish a nursing home.
  • Increasing civil monetary penalties to $25,000 for violations of the Public Health Law, including increasing penalties for willful violations of Public Health Law or regulation.
  • Removing the requirement to provide adult care facilities a 30-day period to rectify violations prior to imposition of a penalty.
  • Building off legislation signed by the Governor in 2019, requiring any nursing home with a repeat Infection Control Deficiency to work with the Quality Improvement Organization, or a state designated independent quality monitor, at the nursing home's own expense, to assess and resolve the facility's infection control deficiencies.
  • Streamlining process to appoint a receiver to protect patient health and safety.
  • Requiring that nursing homes spend a minimum of 70 percent of revenue on direct patient care and a minimum of 40 percent of revenue on resident staffing.
  • Establishing a nursing home profit cap and limiting certain unscrupulous transactions, including but not limited to related party transactions over fair market value and payment of compensation for employees who are not actively engaged in or providing services at the nursing home.
  • Limiting the overall proportion of management salaries and setting a cap by regulation, dependent on the size of the facility, for managers and executives.

This comes amid calls from lawmakers in New York State to investigate the way the Cuomo administration handled COVID-19 in nursing homes.

"Every day, families across the state entrust the safety and health of their loved ones to nursing homes and as this unprecedented public health crisis has shown, some performed admirably, but some did not," Governor Cuomo said. "Facilities have put profits over care for far too long and as we look forward, we must learn from the past and prepare for the future. These facilities must be transparent and we have to have the tools necessary for holding bad actors accountable - that is the only way families will have peace of mind and I won't sign a budget that doesn't include these common-sense reforms."