Cona Elder Law

A dose of the Covid-19 vaccine

Is Your SNF Ready for the Pandemic After Shock: Reform Bills Pass this Week


As we approach the one-year mark of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the promise of increased vaccinations and “herd immunity” come along with the heartbreaking news that 500,000+ Americans have now been lost to this illness – many of them seniors. Skilled Nursing Facilities on the front lines of the pandemic have suffered catastrophic losses and must now comply with increased requirements imposed by nursing home reform laws passed in response to the pandemic.  Among the important changes included in bills passed this week by the New York State Senate which will impact SNF operations if signed into law are:

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities will be required to allocate 70% of revenue directly to patient care. This will be challenging in light of census reductions and pandemic impact on state and federal funding.
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities will be required to allow “personal caregiver”
    and “compassionate caregiver” visitors to visit with residents, especially those facing end-of-life conditions, even during public health emergencies.  These individuals will be required to comply with similar infection-control measures as SNF employees.
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities will be required to take additional steps prior to discharging a resident, including informing family members of anticipated discharge and obtaining written consent of a person to whose home the resident will be discharged. SNFs will be required to use their “best efforts” to avoid discharges to temporary housing (such as homeless shelters), which are strongly discouraged under the proposed law.
  • A number of the remaining bills require SNFs to comply with increased record keeping and disclosure requirements aimed at increasing transparency in patient care outcomes.

Cona Elder Law PLLC continues to monitor the status of these bills as well as efforts to enact further nursing home reform efforts statewide.  We will continue to support our health care facility clients through the next phases of this pandemic as you continue to carry out the important work of providing care to our most vulnerable community members.

About the Author Cona Elder Law

Cona Elder Law is a full service law firm based in Melville, LI. Our firm concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, special needs planning and health care facility representation. We are proud to have been recognized for our innovative strategies, creative techniques and unparalleled negotiating skills unendingly driven toward our paramount objective - satisfying the needs of our clients.

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