Nursing homes could face $10,000 penalty if they don't follow new state guidelines

Nursing homes could face a $10,000 penalty if they don't follow the state's guidelines during the coronavirus crisis.

News 12 Staff

Apr 23, 2020, 9:02 PM

Updated 1,494 days ago


Nursing homes could face a $10,000 penalty if they don't follow the state's guidelines during the coronavirus crisis. 
Nearly one-quarter of New York's COVID-19 cases are inside nursing homes, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has clarified what rules all nursing homes must follow. 
"If you have COVID people, they have to be quarantined and have separate staff. Those are the rules. If you can't do it, we'll put them in a facility that can do it," said Cuomo. 
A number of staff and families connected with nursing homes across the Hudson Valley have been turning to News 12 for weeks claiming facilities are not following state regulations - sharing both space and staff with confirmed COVID-19 patients. 
Cuomo also announced that the Attorney General's Office is investigating violations of his executive order requiring nursing homes to tell all residents and their families of coronavirus test results and deaths within a facility. 
As the nursing homes work to follow the new state regulations, they also point to a lack of staff and equipment.
Nurses at Cabrini Nursing Home protested a lack of PPE last week.  It's another issue the state fired back at Thursday, highlighting the hundreds of thousands of pieces of medical gear provided to nursing homes that called the state for help in the last two weeks.

When asked if nursing homes have objected to the regulations, the health commissioner said he was not aware.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed back saying, "That's your fiduciary obligation, and I would say your ethical obligation and your legal obligation if you cant provide adequate care the person must be transferred,"

The state says it's investigating every suspected and confirmed coronavirus case. Those who have additional complaints or concerns are encouraged to contact the State Department of Health directly.
Additional details from the Department of Health:
Investigations can include completion of a screening questionnaire,  site visits, phone calls and an innovative concept we’re created to conduct visual assessments and increase the number of investigations we’re able to conduct
All investigations center on:
·        Epidemiological assessments – gaining better understanding of the number of suspected cases, positive cases, required transfers, etc.   
·        Clinical status – Learning more about the health conditions of the residents,  symptoms, severity of those symptoms, etc.
·        Reinforcing infection control practices: Putting in place best practices that can help slow spread, co-horting residents (when appropriate), environmental cleaning, social distancing, hand hygiene
We’ve tried to bring innovation to this process with something we’re calling “COVIDeo.”  The DOH team is conducting video chats (via facetime or other online options) to have the facilities infection control director physically walk us through a facility to demonstrate all aspects of infection control. We see hand hygiene stations, PPE stations, have them conduct donning and doffing safety equipment.  It has helped us increase the number of investigation we can conduct concurrently. 
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