A new law expanding nursing home reporting requirements, quality oversight, and financial transparency was signed by Governor Cuomo on December 16. The bill, A4757A/S5908, was sponsored by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried and Senate Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera. The new law:
- Requires nursing home employees and contractors to report all types of abuse of residents to the Health Department. The current law is limited to just physical abuse. The bill also adds reporting requirements in the event of theft from residents;
- Authorizes appointment of independent quality monitors to ensure that facilities comply with written corrective plans;
- Requires disclosure to DOH of any co-ownership or familial ties between the nursing home operator and anyone providing services to the nursing home;
- Requires facilities to provide prospective residents with residency agreement terms, including posting residency agreements on their websites; and
- Requires 90-day notice to the Department in the event of sale of nursing home properties and authorizes State recoupment of some Medicaid payments if a facility is sold to be used for purposes other than providing health care.
"To protect patient safety and quality of care, we need stronger enforcement, better transparency for residents and their families, and better screening of ownership and financial transactions," said Gottfried. "Our next priorities must include similar legislation for adult homes and ensuring adequate staffing levels in hospitals and nursing homes."
"This new law strengthens nursing home oversight and accountability, while further protecting residents from being victims of abuse or theft," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. "I look forward to working with Assembly Member Gottfried as we continue to work to enhance protections for New Yorkers as they navigate elder care services."
"This bill establishes common-sense reporting requirements for resident abuse, neglect, and theft which will undoubtedly improve the lives of residents and save untold numbers of New York families from heartache and grief," said Richard J. Mollot, Executive Director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition. "It also provides important oversight and financial integrity mechanisms that will help ensure that the public funds that pay for care are used wisely and efficiently. We thank Assemblymember Gottfried and Senator Rivera for their leadership in sponsoring and passing this bill in the legislature, and Governor Cuomo for signing it into law."