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A Summary Recap of Current Events in the Long-Term Care Industry

This article was written by Erin Bremer, Healthcare Consulting Manager.

As we approach the new year, it’s important to be aware of and prepare for upcoming legislation changes. Let’s take a brief look at some regulations within the long-term care industry that will take effect January 1, 2023, and some new proposed items to keep an eye on.

Changes to NYS Health Care Provider Staffing Laws

On January 1, 2023, certain provisions of recently enacted legislation will take effect, one that focuses on staffing in nursing homes and the other focuses on staffing in hospitals licensed under Article 28 of the Public Health Law.

In June of 2021 NY Public Health Law 2805-T was enacted which requires that all hospitals licensed pursuant to Article 28 of the PHL to establish a clinical committee no later than January 1, 2022, and the responsibility of this committee is to establish a clinical staffing plan. Beginning January 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, each hospital must implement the plan that was adopted by January 1st of each year following submission of the plan to the Department of Health and this plan must be posted in a public area on each patient care unit.

The Nursing Home staffing law regulations (Minimum Staffing Laws) took effect in April of 2022, and in addition to this regulation is PHL 2895- b(3)(b) which will take effect January 1, 2023. In this section nurse aides will have to be certified in order meet the 2.2 hours of care per resident per day. On November 17, 2022, the Public Health and Health Planning Council approved the nursing home minimum staffing and minimum spending regulations.

COVID-19 Requirements

Early December Governor Hochul signed a legislation package requiring nursing homes to have a plan set to stop the spread of infections. This legislation reduces the time in which a facility is required to report a change in an infected resident’s condition from within 24 hours to within 12 hours. The legislation also addresses placing residents in cohorts to reduce further infections, designating a staff member in charge of PPE and a requirement to have an infection plan in place that includes lessons learned.

On September 23, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updates to its COVID-19 infection prevention guidance within health care settings. The updated guidance addresses masking, cohorting, and testing. The CDC no longer recommends quarantine of asymptomatic new admissions/readmissions to nursing homes, however testing is recommended at time of admission where community transmission is high. In addition, screening of asymptomatic healthcare personnel is at the discretion of the healthcare facility (including nursing homes). In response NYS issued a Health Advisory on October 13, 2022 that can be found on the NYS Nursing Home Administrator Letters. The letter noted that at the release date of the letter all counties within NYS indicate high levels of COVID-19 community transmission (with the exception of Lewis and Hamilton counties).

Healthcare Worker Bonus

The 2022-2023 enacted New York State Budget included 1.2 billion in funding to the Healthcare Worker Bonus Program. Although two of the vesting period submission dates have passed. There are still 3 more vesting periods for the Healthcare worker bonus.

Vesting Periods Submission Dates
October 1, 2022 - March 31, 2023 April 1, 2023 - May 1, 2023
April 1, 2023 - September 30, 2023 October 1, 2023 - October 31, 2023
October 1, 2023 - March 31, 2024 April 1, 2024 - May 1, 2024

Proposed New York State Long Term Care Trust Act

New York State is one of five states considering legislation to help alleviate the high cost of long-term care through a long-term care payroll tax. At this time there is only a draft to enact the legislation, The New York Long Term Care Trust Act, and therefore it’s unknown how this will play out.

Proposed Mandatory Nurse Overtime Legislation

The proposed legislation would regulate mandatory nurse overtime and limit the number of consecutive hours worked by New York State nurses. Providers who mandate overtime and violate the regulations would face a fine.

Lobbying efforts for an increase in the Medicaid Rate by 20%

LeadingAge NY and NYSHFA are urging Governor Hochul to include a nursing home Medicaid rate increase of 20% in the next budget proposal. Since NYS nursing homes have not seen an inflation increase to their Medicaid operating rate in over a decade both associations have provided on their website actions for members to take to lobby for a necessary increase in Medicaid Reimbursement.

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This material has been prepared for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. Should you require any such advice, please contact us directly. The information contained herein does not create, and your review or use of the information does not constitute, an accountant-client relationship.