ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—Lawmakers and health care leaders gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday, saying that a shortage of nursing home staff is negatively impacting hospitals that are short staffed themselves.
Dr. Dennis McKenna, President of Albany Medical Center, said this is effecting his hospital.
“At Albany Medical Center Hospital today, there’s between 50 and 75 patients in the hospital right now out of over 700 that are no longer medically acute. Those 75 patients cannot leave the hospital to go to the nursing homes because of their own staffing crisis. As a result of that, patients back up in the emergency department,” said McKenna.
Lawmakers and advocates say the state needs to do more to help hospitals recruit and retain nurses and provide financial incentives in next year’s state budget. On Thursday, Speaker Carl Heastie was asked about this.
“There’s shortage across the board and I think this is something we should look to do to make sure that we have enough people in different professions to provide services we need in the state,” said Speaker Carl Heastie.
Hospitals are relying more on traveling nurses, claiming rates have gone up significantly.
“At Albany Medical Center, the hourly rate jumped from $80 for a travel nurse before the pandemic to as high as $225 an hour in 2022. That’s a 220% increase in just 3 years,” said McKenna.
Assemblyman Al Stirpe has put forth legislation which includes requiring temporary health care staffing agencies to register with the department of health each year.