Stephen Hanse, president and CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association and the New York State Center for Assisted Living, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 testing requirement for nursing home and assisted living employees:
“While we applaud Gov. Cuomo’s new testing directive to safeguard nursing home residents and staff, we will need the full assistance from state government to increase its on-site availability of testing for skilled nursing and assisted living employees.
“New York has over 160,000 nursing home employees and over 45,000 assisted living employees. As such, the governor’s executive order of twice a week testing requires over 410,000 COVID-19 tests every week. This mandate will eclipse in short order the state’s total testing of approximately 1.2 million persons to date. The state must ensure that enough tests will be available in a timely manner and that it will fully cover the costs of these tests. Providers are seeing costs of $150 per test – resulting in a potential $60 million a week cost that is unsustainable and is an existential threat to the economic viability of skilled nursing and assisted living providers throughout New York.”