CELJ Statement on Nursing Home Care

Recently, Governor Cuomo announced a focused effort to investigate nursing homes when they violate new requirements that impact resident safety (see https://elderjusticeny.org/new-york-state-nursing-home-inspections/). The state should focus on nursing homes that have a history of poor infection practices and insufficient staffing. In the August 2019 report from Long Term Care Community Coalition, 16 nursing homes in Western NY were rated as one star facilities (list below). During non-pandemic times, these locations received poor ratings based on staffing levels, health inspection outcomes, and other quality measures.

Nursing homes and adult care facilities need to be held to a higher standard. Due to a history of poor quality, many of these homes are now breeding grounds for COVID-19. Staffing levels in nursing homes has been a longstanding problem, and as a result, residents have suffered from abuse and neglect. Effective enforcement of quality care and safety regulations has been lacking – the Department of Health has a history of not issuing fines or taking other action, unless faced with a public outcry. (See press on Emerald South Nursing Home https://buffalonews.com/2019/01/04/emerald-south-nursing-home-officially-closed/).

  • The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehab Center, Albion
  • Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, Batavia
  • Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing
  • Buffalo Community Healthcare Center
  • Ellicott Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, Buffalo
  • Safire Rehabilitation of Southtowns, Buffalo
  • Cuba Memorial Hospital, Cuba
  • Absolut Center for Nursing & Rehab at Aurora Park, East Aurora
  • Newfane Rehabilitation an Health Care Center
  • Niagara Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Niagara Falls
  • The Pines Healthcare & Rehab Centers, Olean
  • Absolut Center for Nursing & Rehab, Orchard Park
  • Jennie B. Richmond Chaffee Nursing Home Company, Springville
  • Safire Rehabilitation of Northtowns, Tonawanda
  • Comprehensive Rehab & Nursing Center at Williamsville
  • Williamsville Suburban

We are encouraged to hear that the Department of Health will inspect nursing homes that have not complied with various requirements that impact resident safety such as separation and isolation policies, staffing levels, and inadequate personal protective equipment supplies. However, this heightened level scrutiny should be maintained after the pandemic resolves so that residents receive the highest quality of care possible.

The Center for Elder Law & Justice joins the Long Term Care Community Coalition in calling on Governor Cuomo and state officials to take emergency actions to help prevent further outbreaks and loss of life. The LTCC Emergency Action Plan can be found online at https://nursinghome411.org/covid-emergency-action-plan/.

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