Jensen: We Need To Include All Frontline Workers In Health Care Bonus

As a member of the Health Committee, Assemblyman Josh Jensen (R,C,I-Greece) is calling on Gov. Hochul and Commissioner Bassett to expand eligibility for all frontline healthcare and support staff, regardless of their employment and job title, as part of bonus payments for health care workers announced earlier this year. 

This year’s budget included bonus payments for certain frontline health care workers if the provider is enrolled in Medicaid. Eligible employees include nurses (i.e RN and LPN), aides, technicians, physician assistants, therapists (e.g. occupational and physical), public and non-public school nurses, BOCES and medical assistants. However, other frontline health job titles were excluded, including: residents, fellows, critical support staff like environmental services, food and nutrition, unit administration, assisted living staff and employees working in non-Medicaid reimbursed health care facilities. To pay for the increased eligibility, Jensen is calling on the state to utilize federal relief funding announced earlier this year.

“If New York State is going to move forward with offering retention bonuses for health care workers we need to make sure we are not creating a system of haves and have-nots within our healthcare workforce,” said Jensen. “We cannot for any reason exclude workers with unreasonable eligibility requirements. Our health care workers jobs’ are already in jeopardy and

They have been overworked, let’s not overlook the many workers deserving of the bonus. All our health care workers are important to the overall well-being of patients and this bonus payment system should reflect that.”