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Member Advocacy Alert - Action Needed

Posted 15 days ago by Ann Harrington

Both the hospital and nursing home staffing bills have been placed on the Senate agenda for floor votes tomorrow (Tuesday, May 4th)

Please contact your State Senator to:

Support S1168A-Rivera - Hospital staffing committees bills

Oppose S6346-Rivera - Nursing Home Staffing Ratios

Should you need a reminder of talking points, see below.

S1168A-Rivera - Hospital staffing committees bills

The bill DOES NOT include rigid, mandated staffing ratios for all units in all hospitals and it DOES include many provisions that NYONEL has promoted including:

  • Clinical nurses, nurse leaders, organized labor (where present) and hospital leaders must be responsible and accountable for creating nurse staffing guidelines for individual hospitals.
  • Hospitals should establish staffing committees that include representatives from the above groups to develop/review/evaluate/revise facility-specific staffing guidelines.
  • Guidelines should minimally take into account the following factors:
    • Tenure and education level of nurses
    • Mix of RN, LPN, and paraprofessional staff per unit
    • Patient acuity
    • Flexibility to account for changes in workload and patient conditions
  • Compliance with staffing guidelines should be evaluated on a specific schedule.
  • Evaluation should include comparison to a valid, national / regional database
  • Patients and families must be informed about the hospital’s commitment to provide safe staffing.

S6346-Rivera - Nursing Home Staffing Ratios

NYONEL points of opposition:

  1. Nursing homes have already suffered devastating financial burden as a result of the pandemic. The recently enacted State Budget requires all nursing homes to establish minimum thresholds for nursing home spending of 70% of revenue on direct resident care, and 40% of revenue on resident-facing staffing, and caps profits at 5%. The next two years’ $64M state appropriation for nursing home staffing attendant to these provisions falls severely  short of what would be needed to recruit, hire, compensate and train additional staff.  Nursing homes would need to – and cannot -- assume that cost.
  2. The current healthcare worker shortage is felt most critically in long term care, and as such, resources to meet the staffing requirements would not be available, particularly in underserved/rural areas that are experiencing the most acute financial burden.
  3. Like hospitals, no two facilities are the same and should not be subject to government-regulated, identical staffing levels.
  4. Reimbursement rates, which have an impact on the level of care provided to residents, are a major concern. There is a gap between the State’s daily reimbursement rate and the actual cost of care in a skilled nursing facility. This bill does not address this side of the equation.

 Thank you for your anticipated advocacy.