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Legislature passes nursing home bill

Nursing homes in New York state will have to make their CMS ratings more accessible to the public.

Both the state Senate and Assembly have passed legislation that will require the most recent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rating to be displayed on the home page of the department’s website and at each nursing home facility. The Assembly passed the legislation 146-3 with both Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, and Assemblyman Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, voting in favor of the bill.

“I co-sponsored this critically important piece of legislation because it’s critically important that we have transparency in our nursing homes, transparency where we put our seniors, our elderly, our sick, our disabled for care,” said Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson, D-Far Rockaway. “As it is the story of the day, the executive is struggling with that instance of making sure we have transparency. I believe this bill works to provide that transparency and allow people, consumers if you will, to know some historical context of some very critically important information about that nursing home or facility before they allow their loved one to enter that facility.”

Goodell said health care facility owners have raised issues with the CMS ratings system being flawed in the past and noted that the bill as approved doesn’t make nursing home owners provide information about COVID-19 infections inside a facility.

“I think it is a good thing that we have more information about nursing posted, so I will be supporting the bill although I would note there have been concerns raised by some of the entities that are rated that the ratings themselves are not accurate,” he said. “As my colleagues noted, one of the things that is not reflected in the star rating system that this bill addresses is how many COVID-active patients the particular facility has had to take in, which is of course if you’re looking to place a loved one in a facility you want to know not only the star rating but you also want to know how that star rating was developed and what information was included and what information wasn’t. While there have been a lot of concerns over the accuracy of these star ratings, more information is always helpful to the consumers and I will be supporting it.”

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