ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — County leaders hope a $5 million dollar infusion of cash will help alleviate the hospital backlog. A problem referred to as “a crisis” by Monroe County hospital administrators and other health care providers in the past few weeks.

“Right now people who are in the ER spend hours and days languishing in chairs, beds and hallways because there are no beds available in the inpatient units,” said Carol Tegas, Executive Director, Finger Lakes Performing Provider System. “All four hospitals are full every day largely because of the unprecedented number of hospitalizations that are occurring and people languishing because they cannot move into nursing home beds.”

The money is part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act and would be used as an incentive to get nursing homes in a 13 county region to accept patients with acute medical needs and/or intense mental health or behavioral care needs.

Prior to approving the funding, Monroe County legislators questioned whether or not this would be a long-term or short-term fix. They also asked about guarantees to ensure nursing homes would take on the so-called “hard to place” patients who are taking up bed space in hospitals awaiting nursing home placements.

Staff told them the proposal is modeled after a successful program in Syracuse and that nursing homes get the money once they accept the patients.