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A01052 Summary:

BILL NOA01052B
 
SAME ASSAME AS S00614-B
 
SPONSORBronson
 
COSPNSRGottfried, Weinstein, Lupardo, Seawright, Stern, Fahy, Clark, McMahon, Nolan, Jacobson, Simon, Meeks, Woerner, Jones, Englebright, Griffin, Lunsford, Santabarbara, Wallace, Barrett, Steck, Barron, Norris, Thiele, Gonzalez-Rojas, Buttenschon, Walsh, Glick, Vanel, Cahill, Rosenthal L, Pichardo, Richardson, Zebrowski, Williams, Bichotte Hermelyn, Anderson, Conrad, Stirpe, Dinowitz, Rivera JD, Abbate, Otis, Smith, Aubry, Cook, Carroll, Rozic, Abinanti, Gallagher, Forrest, Cruz, Jackson, Perry, Hyndman, Zinerman, Peoples-Stokes, Reyes, Colton, Hunter, Kelles, Cusick, Galef
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add §2801-h, Pub Health L; add §461-u, Soc Serv L
 
Provides for the authorization and regulation of visitation of compassionate care-giving visitors at nursing homes and residential health care facilities.
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A01052 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A1052B
 
SPONSOR: Bronson
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law and the social services law, in relation to personal and compassionate caregiving visitors for residents of nursing homes   PURPOSE: This bill authorizes the Department of Health to develop regulations to allow personal caregiving visitation, for the provision of routine care and support, and for compassionate caregiving visitation, for the provision of short-term emergency care and support at end of life or other dire circumstances, by family members and legal guardians of resi- dents of nursing homes and other residential health care facilities.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: Adds a new section 2801-h to the public health law. This section requires the department of health to develop rules, regulations, and guidelines to allow personal caregiving and compassionate caregiving visitors at nursing homes. Provides definitions for personal and compas- sionate caregiving. These guidelines will include that facilities are required to allow such visitation, procedures for designating a visitor (as needed, with support from a medical or mental health professional), set forth procedures on changing such designation, require waiving liability, limits such designation to two caregivers per resident, exempts such visitors from general prohibitions on visitation, set forth the circumstances under which such visitation may be suspended or limit- ed, establish safety protocols for such visitors, sets forth frequency and duration of visitation, set forth the total number of such visitors allowed in a facility at any one time, and make allowances for compas- sionate caregiving. Section 2: Adds a new section 461-u to the social services law. This section requires the office of temporary and disability assistance to develop rules, regulations, and guidelines to allow personal caregiving and compassionate caregiving visitors at nursing homes. Provides defi- nitions for personal and compassionate caregiving. These guidelines will include that facilities are required to allow such visitation, proce- dures for designating a visitor (as needed, with support from a medical or mental health professional), set forth procedures on changing such designation, require waiving liability, limits such designation to two caregivers per resident, exempts such visitors from general prohibitions on visitation, set forth the circumstances under which such visitation may be suspended or limited, establish safety protocols for such visi- tors, sets forth frequency and duration of visitation, set forth the total number of such visitors allowed in a facility at any one time, and make allowances for compassionate caregiving.   JUSTIFICATION: In an effort to curb outbreaks of the coronavirus among nursing home residents, New York State issued a ban on outside visitation by nones- sential visitors in March 2020. While the ban addressed a real need to limit spread of the virus, it has become apparent that isolation from loved ones presents significant risks of its own to the physical and mental wellbeing of nursing home residents. In many cases, family members prior to the ban regularly provided care for their loved one, assisting with feeding, bathing, dressing, communication and other essential activities of daily living. These family members-some of them on a daily basis for years-functioned as de facto "staff," augmenting the care and support provided by regular staff. We know that nursing home aides are too often stretched thin under the best of circumstances; during the pandemic, their numbers and capacity have been even lower, exacerbating the challenge of adequately meeting residents' needs. Personal care visitation would allow for such care to resume, with the designated caregiver following the same protocols as staff. In addition, this bill would expand on the definition, as conceived by CMS, of "compassionate care visitation," so that facilities allow for visitation not just at end-of-life situations but also in response to a marked decline in a resident's physical, mental or emotional wellbeing. This decline might be indicated by such conditions as depression, increased confusion or cognitive decline, weight loss or various other changes that signify a negative turn in physical or psychosocial health. Such changes are increasingly showing up as side effects of policies that isolate residents from their loved ones for extended periods of time and, in the most serious cases, pose their own risk of morbidity. It is a sad fact that enforced isolation from loved ones has created a whole new set of risks to nursing home residents-in many cases acceler- ating mental and physical decline. Allowing exemptions for personal care visitors and enhanced compassionate care visitation would be a reason- able, pragmatic step toward re-establishing those critical informal channels of care that are so crucial to the wellbeing of nursing home residents.   FISCAL IMPACT: To be determined.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:. 2020: A11075 referred to health   EFFECTIVE DATE: 45 days after becoming law.
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