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NYS Health Facilities Assoc. sends letter to NYSDOH & Gov. Hochul on vaccinations, workforce crisis

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Posted at 3:18 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 15:18:56-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — The New York State Health Facilities Association has sent a letter to the New York State Department of Health and Governor Kathy Hochul on vaccine requirements and the workforce crisis.

NYSHFA represents over 450 for-profit, not-for-profit and government-operated skilled nursing and and assisted living facilities across NYS.

It says New York (and the country as a whole) is in the midst of a long-term care workforce crisis. To get a feel of the extent of the state's workforce crisis NYSHFA is conducting a statewide survey and it says the results have been alarming.

According to NYSHFA, 201 skilled nursing providers have responded to the survey and 95% say they are currently experiencing staffing shortages. 59% of those say the staffing shortages are negatively impacting the ability to accept new residents.

NYSHFA also provided the following data from its 201 survey respondents:

Full-time nursing home staff vacancies

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Part-time nursing home staff vacancies

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In response, NYSHFA is asking the state to do the following prior to September 27:

  1. Amend the NYS COVID-19 vaccination policy to allow, at least temporarily, unvaccinated healthcare workers to continue to work as long as they are tested for COVID-19 weekly. The NYS mandate says all healthcare workers in the state must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 27 and October 7 with no option to test weekly.
  2. Allow nurse aides to be certified as medication aides to administer medications in residential healthcare facilities. NYSHFA says this will free up long-term care nurses to assist with direct patient care.