Advocates for nursing home residents today praised state lawmakers for passing legislation to strengthen New York’s nursing home oversight program.
The State Assembly today voted unanimously final passage of a bill (A10045A-Clark) requiring the Long-Term Care Mediation Program (LTCOP) to publish in its annual reports the types and patterns of complaints received by its regional offices; and the number of visits by the ombudsman to each long-term care facility.
The state Senate passed the companion bill (S8617A-May) on May 24 with a strong, bipartisan vote.
The move follows a $2.5 million increase in state funding in this year’s state budget for the federally required program, more than double its previous federally-funded budget. the state.
LTCOP has fallen behind programs in other states while more than 15,000 people have died in New York City nursing homes since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“This bill would give policy makers the information they need to ensure the long-term care ombudsman program is as effective as possible in advocating for and speaking on behalf of the most vulnerable population in our society: nursing home residents,” said Beth, director of AARP in New York State. Finkel. “After more than 15,000 deaths in New York nursing homes and since the start of the pandemic, we need a strong advocate. AARP New York thanks Senator Rachel May and Assemblywoman Sarah Clark for leading this bill in their respective chambers, and we urge Governor Kathy Hochul to sign it.
“Mediators are on the front line to protect vulnerable residents of retirement homes and assisted living facilities. We thank Senator May and Assemblyman Clark for their leadership on this bill, which would help ensure that the important work of the Ombudsman Program on behalf of residents and families has the greatest impact possible,” said Richard Mollot, executive director of the long-term care community. Coalition.
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“The ombudsmen are the eyes and ears of long-term care. They become the trusted person that residents can count on to defend them. I applaud and thank Senator May and Assemblyman Clark for sponsoring this bill so that we can strengthen the long-term care ombudsman program, generate the data we need to make change and ensure that our most vulnerable residents receive the help and support they need. and deserve,” said Ann Marie Cook, president and CEO of Lifespan of Greater Rochester.
The legislation is also supported by the Center for Elder Law & Justice.
Although the LTCOP cannot penalize long-term care facilities, it is the only agency authorized to regularly visit facilities to observe conditions, monitor care, and help residents and families resolve issues.
In addition to assisting individual residents and families, the LTCOP is required by federal rules to act as an independent spokesperson for residents regarding laws and policies that impact their care.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose their lifestyle as they age.
With a national presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and champions what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment.
AARP also produces the most popular publications in the country: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.
To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow us on Twitter: @AARPNY and Facebook: AARP New York
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