Nursing home providers in New York could soon see limits on how much they can profit from resident care, according to a new proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
Cuomo endorsed placing a cap on profits for nursing homes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on facilities while speaking Monday during a press conference, WSHU Public Radio reported.
He stated that for-profit nursing homes “should be mandated [on] how much you put back into the facility and how much profit you can make,” while hinting that new legislation could be directed towards the issue in the next state budget.
“Do you want to hire more staff, or do you want to make more profit? Do you want to buy more [personal protective equipment] and stockpile more PPE, or do you want to make more profit? Do you want to buy new equipment, new beds, new sheets, new furniture, invest in the facility, or do you want to make more profit?” he said.
“That tension is a problem, and that has to be resolved legislatively,” he added.
New York providers opposed the proposal and argued that it was the state’s “hospital-centric” approach that caused limited resources for nursing homes. New York currently has a $55 per day, per resident Medicaid shortfall after cutting reimbursement rates for 12 years, according to Stephen Hanse, president and CEO of the New York State Health Facilities Association.
“Policymakers and legislators must stop the blame game, work in partnership with nursing home providers and view long-term care as an investment not an expense,” Hanse said in a statement to the news agency.
Cuomo’s proposal isn’t the only measure threatening providers in the state. Consumer advocates unveiled a proposal this week that would completely repeal COVID-related immunity for nursing homes.
New York is one of more than 20 states that have enacted liability protections for nursing homes during the public health crisis. It’s also been a key sticking point among federal lawmakers during coronavirus relief talks.
AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel said “now, through the state budget, is the time and way to end [the protections],” according to a report by Spectrum News.
“We should not waste this golden opportunity to improve safety and conditions for our mothers, fathers, grandparents, spouses, and other loved ones in New York’s nursing homes — and for the staff who care for them,” she argued.