ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Some lawmakers are saying nursing homes are facing a crisis. This comes after a state mandate for testing twice a week of staff of nursing homes — leaving some facilities to come up with a plan on how they will do it.
Nursing facilities must test staff twice a week, but for some state lawmakers and long term care facility leaders, they say without proper compensation or resources, the burden of extra testing might put the nursing facility at risk, leading to more challenges down the road.
“It puts our nursing homes financial condition at risk which means they can’t service their populations which means they can’t cover their staff, their payroll,” said Rep. Tom Reed (R) 23rd congressional district.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a new set of guidelines for nursing homes on Sunday. This requires all nursing home staff to be tested twice a week, and hospitals can’t discharge patients to nursing homes until they test negative for COVID-19.
The governor’s office says the goal behind this is to help slow the spread and protect this vulnerable community.
Health care providers on the call say they are for testing, but there is a big question mark about where to get these resources and who is paying.
“That needs to get decided. And if it’s not clear to other providers, they’ll be a damping of testing. people will not test because they won’t be sure they are going to be paid,” said Martin Stallone, CEO Cayuga Medical CEO.
With over 6,000 people in New York nursing homes confirmed or presumed dead due to Covid-19, leaders want to see more efforts to streamline resources and finances to this group.
“Collaborating with these nursing homes’ facilities to make sure they have the resources to make sure their communities are safe and sound rather than coming in with a stick approach,”said Reed.
The lawmakers and health leaders have held meetings with various long term care leaders in order to come up with a best practice they feel can work. They are hoping to meet with Governor Cuomo or his team to present these ideas.