Assemblyman Burke Passes Legislation to Prevent Infectious Disease Outbreaks at Nursing Homes

The legislation passed yesterday (A.6057-A) will create an audit checklist that evaluates the competency of nursing homes in relation to infection control, personal protective equipment (PPE), staffing, clinical care and communication.

“When an individual and their family makes the difficult decision to relocate to a nursing home or assisted living facility, they should have full faith that they are in safe hands,” said Burke. “The circumstances in New York’s nursing homes during COVID-19 were tragic, in large part because many of the deaths could have been prevented had the facilities been more prepared. The pandemic highlighted a number of glaring issues with long-term residential care facilities in our state that created an unacceptable quality of life for too many residents. I passed this bill to help ensure our loved ones are receiving the care they need while also ensuring that nursing homes are better equipped for future health crises.”

The audit established by the bill will take place annually, commencing on October 1, 2021. A facility must meet at least 85% of the given criteria to be marked as “proficient.” If a facility meets between 85% and 60% of the given criteria, the facility will be scored as “proficiency pending reinspection” and be subject to an additional audit before the next annual inspection. A facility that fails to meet 60% of the criteria will be scored as “not proficient” and will continue to be audited monthly until it meets at least 85% adherence. Penalties may include a revocation or suspension of a facility’s license under certain conditions. This bill is a necessary step to promote proficiency and improve the overall quality of care, Burke noted.