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Voice Your Thoughts on Nursing Home Staffing Levels

Patti Singer

Family and friends, care providers and nursing home residents are invited to share their thoughts about nurse staffing of facilities. File photo

A proposed state bill that would require nursing homes and hospitals to set minimum requirements for direct patient care is expected to be taken up when the New York legislature returns in January.

An advocacy group for nursing home residents is holding a forum for family and friends, direct care providers and the people who live in nursing homes to share their opinions.

The Elder Justice Committee of Metro Justice is holding a listening session at 10 a.m., Oct. 17 at King’s Bend Park, North Lodge, 170 West Jefferson Road in Pittsford. The location is accessible to people with disabilities.

Representatives of Rochester-area Assembly members Harry Bronson and Jamie Romeo are expected to attend. Participants can speak for up to three minutes. Contact to register.

Proponents of the bill say that setting a ratio of nurses to nursing home residents or hospital patients reduces avoidable problems and improves outcomes. Proponents say that a change in the way nursing homes have to report their staffing has given a more accurate picture of how much direct care is provided.

The bill would cover registered and licensed practical nurses, and it would allow them to refuse an assignment if it exceeded their abilities or minimum staffing was not in place.

Opponents of the bill say that research doesn’t show relationship between more staff better results, and that the bill would increase cost of the care and reduce quality of life programming for residents.

Elder Justice tracks nursing home care, using data provided by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That data uses a star system to rank nursing homes. Five stars is the highest ranking and one is the lowest. Of the 34 homes in Monroe County, only two – Park Ridge and the Friendly Home – were rated five-star as of July. Ten homes in the county had one-star ratings. New Roc Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was not rated because it is on the CMS special focus list because of ongoing issues with care.

Information about nursing homes throughout New York and the nation is at