ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Cuomo announced Friday sweeping nursing home reform legislation as part of the 30-day amendments. The legislation was drafted after the coronavirus pandemic highlighted issues in nursing homes and aims to improve the quality of services in these facilities.

This legislation aims to improve the safety and quality of New York’s nursing homes through a series of reforms that increase transparency around nursing home staffing, expenditures and ownership; hold operators accountable for violations of the Public Health Law and other misconduct; and ensure nursing home facilities are prioritizing patient care and safety over profits and adequate funding is spent on direct patient care and resident staffing. The plan is based on three pillars.

Increasing Transparency

  • 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 the 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

Holding Operators Accountable for Misconduct

  • 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 the imposition of a penalty
  • 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 the process to appoint a receiver to protect patient health and safety

Prioritizing Patient Care Over Profit

  • 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