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NYS Health Facilities Association statement on Cuomo's new policy for nursing homes

Submitted

Mon, May 11th 2020 12:20 pm

Calls on HHS to fulfill request by long-term care industry for emergency funding to pay for expanded testing, PPE equipment and staffing

Requests New York help expand availability and access to testing via state’s National Guard or other means in short-term

Stephen Hanse, president and CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association and the New York State Center for Assisted Living, representing nearly 400 skilled nursing providers and adult care/assisted living communities with more than 100,000 employees who provide essential long-term care services through New York, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference on Sunday:

“In order to further protect our residents and staff, we are grateful that hospitals can no longer discharge new patients into nursing homes that have tested positive or were suspected to have COVID-19. From the onset of this pandemic, nursing homes and assisted living providers have been on the front lines of the battle. The only way we will defeat this virus is working together with the state to ensure all nursing homes and assisted living providers are afforded the necessary resources to accomplish this goal.”

“The state’s action today acknowledges the concerns providers voiced over the March 25 Department of Health advisory and we must continue to work together to implement solutions to assist long-term care providers. We are all in this together, and together, all of our actions must be directed at safeguarding our most vulnerable and lead us to overcome our present circumstances and create a stronger and safer future.”

“While we applaud Gov. Cuomo’s new testing directive to safeguard nursing home residents and staff, we will need assistance from state government to increase its on-site availability of testing for skilled nursing and assisted living employees.”

“Many state governments, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Florida have directed their state’s National Guard to help with testing in the immediate term at nursing home facilities of all residents and caregivers, and even help with short-term staffing shortages if caregivers test positive. We ask for similar assistance here in New York from our state leaders.”

“What New York’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities urgently need now is for HHS to fulfill the request by the American Healthcare Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) to provide $10 billion in emergency relief fund to help long term care facilities help pay for testing, PPE equipment and staffing. Without immediate and urgently needed funding, nursing homes are at a significant disadvantage in responding to this unprecedented health crisis.”

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