State Senate Democrats are set to approve a package of nursing home accountability bills on Monday – taking matters into their own hands with Gov. The fatal toll under fire for Andrew Cuomo Coronovirus under his watch.
The upper chamber is expected to be vacated on Monday, with 10 bills introduced earlier this month, including fatal reporting, patient-to-staff ratios and standard of visits, with the goal of improving nursing home protocol.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “The tragic situation in our nursing homes is reminiscent of the epidemic this epidemic has taken and made it clear that real reforms are needed.”
“Senate Majority is taking action to provide meaningful results by increasing transparency and raising the standard of care provided at these facilities,” the Yonkers Democrat continued. “I applaud the bill sponsors for their work and I am proud that we are passing these reforms.”
Cuomo also laid down its own nursing home improvement proposal on Friday, with state laws also lacking greatly and facility operators should be held accountable through measures including tougher penalties.
The wave of legislation follows a month-long struggle to obtain data from Cuomo’s health department.
Top Democratic lawmakers – including Senators Gustavo Rivera (D-The Bronx), Rachel May (D-Syracuse) and James Scoffis (D-Orange) – sent state health officials a list of 16 questions in August, including their Nursing answers were sought. – All residents died from COVID-19.
But the Cuomo administration responded after just six months – and the release of a cursory report by state Attorney General Letitia James suggests that the nursing home exceeded residents’ death rate by more than 50 percent.
A Supreme Court judge also ruled that New York had to release the data before it was finalized by the Cuomo administration.
The Post specifically reported that Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa De Rosa, during a closed-door meeting earlier this month, admitted to Democratic lawmakers that the state withheld the information because they no longer have to deal with former President Donald Trump’s administration There was a possibility of investigation by
Federal investigators are now investigating how to deal with the virus in the state’s nursing homes.
State legalists argue that their law package trumps the Governor’s preferred measures.
A bill sponsored by Rivera states that the state will register all coronavirus viruses of nursing-home residents in DOH hospitals as “nursing home death”.
The Cuomo administration insisted on avoiding such deaths in hospitals for a long time, given the true toll of the epidemic in nursing homes.
There are two bills in May: one that would expand the program to Empire State’s Ombudsman – or Resident Advocate – nursing home, and another that would allow relatives of residents to enter facilities for “compassionate care” reasons.
Nursing home visits have been heavily prohibited since March 2020 under state epidemic regulations.
Another measure, put in place by Skeffis, would require facilities to post all violations of the health protocol on their web sites for public review.
The bills would still need to be passed by the state assembly.
“Ensuring that nursing homes are safe is a priority,” said a spokesman for State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronzer). “We will discuss these and other issues with our members.”
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the governor and the state legislature want the same thing, and that the administration was open to considering other reforms.
“We all share the same goal of improving these facilities and correcting the inequalities laid bare by this epidemic, which is why the governor put a legislative package in the 30-day amendments and said that he would be on budget without them Will not sign “he said. “There are a handful of other ideas that we are open to reviewing them.”
Additional reporting by Aaron Fies