New York Budget: Increases Funding to Nursing Homes, Studies on Nursing Staff

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent budget, passed in the middle of the night to ensure raises for the legislators working on the deal, increased Medicaid funding to nursing home across the state. According to Crain’s New York, the Democrat-controlled government in Albany boosted Medicaid funding by $550 million over the next year. The majority of nursing home funding in the state comes from New York’s Medicaid program, though the increased funding will also help hospitals who serve lower-income populations.

The increase in funding fulfills a promise made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year; however, the increase in funding appeared to be on the chopping block in the last few weeks of negotiations between the politicians in Albany. After income from tax revenues came in lower than expected, Cuomo administration officials said it was not the right time to increase Medicaid funding. Hospitals and nursing homes said they would be forced to close if they did not receive increased funding since the federal government is already decreasing its funding to long-term care facilities. According to Long Island Business News, nursing homes are short an average of $68 per Medicaid resident, each day.

Hospitals in New York City will not be so lucky. According to Crain’s New York Business, the City will see a $59 million cut to public health programs. While the rest of the state will receive 36 percent reimbursement for its medical costs at public hospitals, hospitals run by New York City will be capped at 20 percent. One bright spot, however; involves a “study” on nurse staffing levels. The new budget includes a study on whether New York should mandate a certain staffing ratio for nurses. According to the news article, the study will examine “how staffing levels for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nurse aides affect patient care.” Nurses across the state have been lobbying Albany to mandate that hospitals and nursing homes across the state hire more nurses. According to the nurses, they are overburdened, and patient care is suffering. When the results of the new study are released later this year, New York nurses may get their wish.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents.  Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.

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