New York is one of several states that has implemented minimum staffing standards, said David Grabowski, professor of health policy at Harvard Medical School. Depending on how staffing standards are designed and applied, he said, researchers have found that they help increase staffing and the overall quality of care for residents.
The concern remains, however, the cost – and the challenge – of trying to attract more workers in a tight job market.
“Since the start of the pandemic, nursing homes have lost the largest share of workers despite the largest relative wage increase,” Grabowski said. “Thus, it will take higher wages and better working conditions to attract more staff to the job market. The idea that New York nursing homes can meet staffing standards at existing wages is wacky at best.”
The Healthcare Association of New York State, which represents nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare organizations, planned to speak to the Department of Health on Friday to understand the mechanics of the app’s operation, said said President Bea Grause.
“At this time, nursing homes must appropriately document their efforts to comply with the law,” the health ministry said in a statement. “The mitigating factors may be taken into account by the department when assessing penalties for non-compliance at a later date.”