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Health & Medicine

NYS AARP Says Safe-Staffing Bill For Nursing Homes And Hospitals Falls Short

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WBFO News
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AARP New York feels the so-called “safe staffing” bill for nursing homes just approved by state lawmakers doesn’t go far enough to ensure the safety and well-being of residents.

  

“We believe that this bill is a beginning step, however, it is missing so many really crucial points that we’d like to see it improve by.”

Beth Finkel is state director for AARP, and says the current figures of the bill aren’t adequate. The organization wants to require nursing facilities to have a registered nurse give 0.75 hours of care per patient and to require an RN to be in the facility at all times. In addition, they want the proposed staff ratio of 3.5 hours of care per patient per day to be increased. Finkel says both measures have a direct link to patient health.

“We know that when people get services from an RN that the quality of their health is vastly improved. We feel like we need to provide the basic clinical needs for nursing home residents and there’s no way that we’ll be able to do that.”

State lawmakers have already passed a number of key AARP priorities into law, including the repeal of legal immunity to hold nursing homes accountable for egregious violations against residents. There’s also a requirement that 70% of nursing homes’ revenues be spent on direct care.

However, Finkel had no comment and deferred to state and federal health officials when asked if nursing home workers should be required to be vaccinated. The state blamed workers for bringing COVID into nursing homes when the pandemic began, leading to resident deaths that are the center of an investigation by state and federal authorities.

More resources and support for families visit AARP.org/nursing homes.