2014 Legislative End of Session Summary

Esq. Stephen B. Hanse in Legislative

The 2014 regular Legislative Session officially came to a close on Friday, June 20th with the Assembly adjourning in the early morning hours and the Senate adjourning later in the day. Throughout the 2014 Session, NYSHFA/NYSCAL advanced several initiatives while working diligently to ensure numerous bills were not considered by the Legislature. While there are many bills introduced affecting skilled nursing and assisted living providers throughout New York, the following is a brief summary of some of the more significant end of Session initiatives NYSHFA/NYSCAL has been addressing on behalf of its members.

Nurse Staffing Mandates

Legislation that was not taken up by the full Senate or Assembly was the so-called “safe staffing for quality care act” (A.6571; Gottfried/S.3691-A; Hannon). In addition to imposing strict requirements for hospitals, this legislation, which has over 75 sponsors in the Assembly, would mandate specific nurse-to-patient staffing ratios for residential health care facilities throughout New York.  Specifically, this legislation requires a staffing ratio at residential health care facilities equal to at least the following:

  • 2.8 hours of care per resident per day by a CNA;
  • 1.3 hours of care per resident per day by an LPN or RN; and
  • 0.75 hours of care per resident per day by an RN.

Additionally, the legislation requires residential health care facilities that care for sub acute patients must maintain a minimum nurse-to-patient ratio of one nurse to five patients.

ACF Criminal History Checks

Legislation passed both the Senate and the Assembly requiring adult care facilities to perform criminal background checks on prospective employees. This legislation establishes the effective date of this requirement as January 1, 2015. (A.5476-D; Cymbrowitz/S.4926-C; Hannon).

Emergency Management Plans

Legislation passed both the Senate and the Assembly requiring cities with a population of one million or more to prepare and adopt comprehensive emergency management plans that include provisions for the deployment of home health care and hospice personnel during local emergencies. (A.6530-B; Cusick/S.4719-B; Lanza).

ACF Direct Care Training Program

Legislation requiring all ACF direct care staff to complete a training curriculum and pass a written and practical exam failed to pass either the Senate or Assembly. (A.4467; Gottfried/S.1663; Grisanti).

Adult Home Air Conditioner Fees

Legislation establishing a maximum fee schedule for the use, maintenance and repair of air conditioners used by adult home residents failed to pass either the Senate or Assembly. (A.4306-A; Brennan/S.5607-A; Diaz).

“Public Nursing Home Protection Act of 2014”

Legislation requiring the Department of Health to perform a comprehensive study and report on public nursing homes and prohibiting all public nursing homes from divesting or eliminating residential services until after the Department’s report is issued failed to pass the Senate. (S.7291; Hannon).

Managed Long Term Care Plans

Legislation restricting ownership of managed long term care plans to only not-for-profit insurers and HMO’s failed to pass the Assembly. (A.3781-C; Gottfried).

Public Health & Health Planning Council

During the closing days of session, numerous appointments were advanced by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. In addition to reappointing Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D., Carla Boutin-Foster, M.D., Ellen Grant, Ph.D., Ellen L. Rautenberg, M.H.S., and Peter G. Robinson to the Public Health and Health Planning Council, the Senate confirmed the following new members to the Council:

  • Kathleen Carver Cheney, Esq. M.S. in Nursing, Novack, Burnbaum & Crystal, LLP
  • Kim Fine, Executive V.P., Albany Medical Center
  • Thomas E. Holt, President & CEO, Lutheran Social Services Group
  • Gary E. Kalkut, M.D., Professor, NYU Langone Medical Center


Please feel free to contact Stephen Hanse if you have questions or need additional information regarding these or any other legislative or regulatory matters.

NYSHFA CONTACT:

Stephen B. Hanse, Esq.
Vice President, Governmental Affairs
518-462-4800 x25