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New York nursing homes would have to shell out an additional $325 million in order to meet a new minimum state staffing requirement set to be enforced starting Friday, according to a new analysis. 

Beyond that, it also would require providers to find and hire thousands of new employees, despite current vacancies that can’t be filled.

The independent analysis conducted by CliftonLarsonAllen was presented to New York officials earlier this week. The report was conducted at the request of the New York State Health Facilities Association and focused on the financial implications of the staffing mandate on nursing homes.

The law, signed last year by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), requires facilities to provide a daily average of 3.5 hours of care per resident by a nurse or nursing assistant. At least 2.2 hours of care must be provided by a certified nursing assistant, and at least 1.1 hours of care must be given by a licensed nurse.

The requirements were set to go into effect in January but current Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has issued several stays postponing the enforcement of the rule for 30 days each time. The last day of the current stay is today (March 31) and the rule would become effective Friday if no additional action is taken. 

The CLA report found that 63% of New York facilities were below the 3.5 hours per resident day staffing requirement. It would also cost facilities a total of $324.5 million annually to meet the new standard. 

The report also found that an additional 5,610 additional workers are needed in order to meet the requirement. 

“For this law to be enforced on April 1, you would have to have these thousands upon thousands upon thousands of workers show up in nursing homes throughout New York and that is not happening,” Stephen Hanse, president and CEO of NYSHFA, told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News on Wednesday. 

Hanse added that providers’ major concern is that the state will begin to enforce the law come April. He also stressed the need for additional Medicaid funding and more targeted education campaigns that promote the “fulfilling careers that exist in long-term care.” 

“You can’t enforce a law that providers are not able to adhere to because of circumstances well out of their control, and those circumstances are the dramatic long-term care workforce shortage we’re experiencing. We need initiatives to recruit and retain workers into long-term care,” Hanse said. 

“We need to get past politics and get to sound policy that really results in proactive initiatives to recruit and retain workers into long-term care,” he added.