NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6222
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring trans-
lations of a patient's rights; and in relation to the posting of infor-
mation relating to the long-term care ombudsman program
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill mandates translation and provision of the Nursing Home Resi-
dent's Bill of Rights into the six most common non-English languages and
mandates prominent display of contact information for the long-term care
ombudsman program in nursing homes.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends section 2803-c of the public health law by adding a
new subdivision 6. This section requires the department of health to
translate the nursing home residents' bill of rights into the six most
common non-English languages spoken in New York State. Each facility
will post and make available such translation to residents. This part
is effective immediately.
Section 2: Adds a new section 2803-c-1 to the public health law. This
section requires that facilities in the state prominently post in each
resident's room the contact information for the state and regional
offices of the longterm care ombudsman program, as well as contact
information for the facility representative. They shall also provide
updated such contact information to all residents and their families
twice a year. This part is effective 120 days after becoming law.
Section 3: Sets effective date, provided that applicable effective date
of Section 2 is specifically set within that part.
New York State's Long-term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) was estab-
lished more than four decades ago as part of the federal Older Americans
Act. Its purpose, in the state program's own words, is to advocate "for
residents by investigating and resolving complaints made by or on behalf
of residents; promoting the development of resident and family councils;
and informing government agencies, providers, and the general public
about issues and concerns impacting residents of long-term care facili-
ties." The effectiveness of the program, however, relies on an assump-
tion that residents and families know of the program and its services
and on the existence of effective two-way channels of communication
between LTCOP staff and volunteers and the Department of Health, to
which complaints are funneled for investigation and resolution. Signif-
icant evidence and testimonials from family members and ombudsman volun-
teers indicate that neither of these assumptions are being met.
This bill calls for specific measures to better inform families and
nursing home residents of the existence of the LTCOP by requiring that
informational fliers be posted in each resident's rooms. Currently,
such information is most commonly posted in a single common area, such
as an elevator lobby, and possibly included in a packet of information
for families at the time of admission. Nevertheless, time and again, we
have heard that family members were unaware they had access to an
ombudsman to address issues or concerns relating to a loved one's care.
We have heard from family councils that wondered why the information
could not be posted in individual rooms rather than distributed in a
packet of material that is rarely at hand or recalled if/when issues
about care arise down the road. The bill also would assure that the
Resident's Bill of Rights is available to residents in the six most
common non-English languages in the state.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
To be determined.
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
March 10, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. WALLACE -- read once and referred to the Commit-
tee on Health
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring trans-
lations of a patient's rights; and in relation to the posting of
information relating to the long-term care ombudsman program
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 2803-c of the public health law is amended by
2 adding a new subdivision 6 to read as follows:
3 6. The department shall translate and make available to all facilities
4 the statement in the six most common non-English languages spoken by
5 individuals with limited-English proficiency in New York state as based
6 on the most recent census. Each facility shall post and make available
7 copies of said statement for residents.
8 § 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 2803-c-1
9 to read as follows:
10 § 2803-c-1. Rights of patients in certain medical facilities; long-
11 term care ombudsman program. The commissioner shall require that every
12 nursing home and residential health care facility providing health
13 related service, as defined in subdivisions two and three and paragraph
14 (b) of subdivision four of section twenty-eight hundred one of this
15 article, prominently post in each resident's room, contact information
16 for the state and regional offices of the long term care ombudsman
17 program as provided for in section two hundred eighteen of the elder
18 law, as well as contact information for the facility representative.
19 Such nursing homes and residential health care facilities shall also
20 provide updated contact information for the state and regional offices
21 and facility representatives to all residents and their families twice a
23 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately provided, however, that
24 the provisions of section two of this act shall take effect on the one
25 hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.