Capitol Notes

Assembly Dems plan votes next week on nursing home reforms

Legislation making it easier to visit nursing homes is expected to get an Assembly vote next week as part of a package of reforms targeting the industry, according to Assemblyman Harry Bronson, a Rochester-area Democrat, who previously chaired the chamber’s Aging Committee.

“My (visitation) bill is one of the bills that is being considered as part of that package,” Bronson said in an interview on Thursday

The nursing home visitation bill authorizes the state to develop regulations allowing “personal caregiving visitation” to support routine care and “compassionate caregiving visitation” for short-term emergencies and end of life situations. Other bills expected to come up for a vote in the Assembly would deal with staffing levels at nursing homes, minimum spending levels on direct care and infection prevention measures, according to Bronson.

He said there is a “tremendous amount of overlap” between the Assembly’s agenda and the nursing home bills the Senate recently passed, but acknowledged there are “some additional bills that have not yet been introduced in the Senate.”

 

Bronson’s visitation bill previously passed the Senate and he expects it to be quickly sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a “rapid signing,” although the governor’s office has not committed to approving the measure. “We’ve been asking for this for a very long time,” Bronson said.

Last week the governor announced changes to the state’s regulations governing visitation at nursing homes, but Bronson said the regulations that came out in the aftermath don’t match the rhetoric from Cuomo about making it easier to visit.

“At the end of the day, a very positive press statement (from Cuomo) and media coverage on Friday and then Monday our families got slapped in the face actually with guidelines that don’t fit,” he said.

The Capitol Pressroom · Former Assembly Aging Chair Bronson on nursing home visitation
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