NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6350
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public health law, in relation to enacting the "New
York state nursing home virtual visitation act"
This bill establishes certain provisions to enhance the ability of nurs-
ing home residents and their families to connect virtually by allowing
the installation of remote monitoring and video conferencing equipment,
as well as strengthening notification requirements for the state long-
term care ombuds program. This virtual visitation and increased notifi-
cation requirement will assist families to remain connected and informed
about their loved ones.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Sets short title.
Section 2: Adds a new article 28-F section 2900 to the public health
2900: provides definitions, including of monitoring and video conferenc-
2900-a: establishes right of residents of their legal representatives to
install and use monitoring devices in patient rooms if certain condi-
tions are met.
2900-b: sets conditions for installation of devices.
2900-c: sets standards for consent for installation of devices.
2900-d: sets standards for authorization forms, including consent from
2900-e: sets standards for unauthorized use of monitoring devices.
2900-f: establishes prohibited acts and penalties related to denial of
the right to install monitoring equipment.
2900-g: sets standards for display of signage when monitoring equipment
is in use. 2900-h: sets reporting requirements.
2099-i: administrative rulemaking.
Section 3: Requires nursing homes licensed by the state to provide
notice to residents of their right to install monitoring equipment.
Section 4: creates new notice requirements related to the state's long-
term care ombuds program. Section 5: sets the effective date.
Nursing home and adult care facility residents often experience feelings
of isolation and loneliness when they are unable to connect regularly
with family or other loved ones. This is true even in the best of times,
and the visitation ban during the pandemic significantly heightened the
problem as residents were denied face-to-face visits with those who knew
them best and cared for them most. This legislation seeks to enhance
connectedness between residents and loved ones through technology-sup-
ported virtual visitation. For some residents, this can mean installing
a video recording device in the resident's room to allow for visual
check-in and monitoring by loved ones. For others, it can mean providing
access to video conferencing platforms to allow for interactive visits
with loved ones. Expanding virtual monitoring and visitation capabili-
ties represents a critical step toward minimizing isolation while
enhancing social connectedness and peace of mind for residents and their
2019-2020: A11085 referred to Health/Senate Rules
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
March 16, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. STIRPE -- read once and referred to the Committee
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to enacting the "New
York state nursing home virtual visitation act"
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
2 the "New York state nursing home virtual visitation act".
3 § 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new article 28-F to
4 read as follows:
5 ARTICLE 28-F
6 VIRTUAL VISITATION AND MONITORING OF NURSING HOME CARE
7 Section 2900. Definitions.
8 2900-a. Monitoring device; authorization and use.
9 2900-b. Monitoring device option; installation; consent of resi-
10 dents in shared rooms; accommodation by nursing home.
11 2900-c. Consent; waiver.
12 2900-d. Authorization form; content.
13 2900-e. Immunity; unauthorized use.
14 2900-f. Prohibited acts; civil and criminal penalties.
15 2900-g. Public notice; signage of electronic monitoring device.
16 2900-h. Reporting abuse and neglect.
17 2900-i. Administrative rulemaking.
18 § 2900. Definitions. As used in this article, the term:
19 1. (a) "Monitoring device" means:
20 (i) a surveillance instrument that transmits and records activity and
21 is not connected to the nursing home's computer network; and
22 (ii) a computer, tablet, phone, smart display or any other electronic
23 device that can be used for video conferencing.
24 (b) The term "monitoring device" shall not include a camera that
25 records still images exclusively.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 6350 2
1 2. "Video conferencing" means the use of a computer network, platform
2 or app to provide a live, visual connection between two or more people
3 residing in separate locations for the purpose of communication.
4 3. "Nursing home" shall have the same meaning as set forth in subdivi-
5 sion two of section twenty-eight hundred one of this chapter.
6 4. "Ombudsman" means the state long-term care ombudsman established
7 within the office for the aging pursuant to subdivision two of section
8 two hundred eighteen on the elder law.
9 5. "Resident" means a person who is a resident of a nursing home.
10 6. "Legal representative" means a legal guardian or a legally
11 appointed substitute decision-maker who is authorized to act on behalf
12 of a nursing home resident.
13 § 2900-a. Monitoring device; authorization and use. 1. A resident who
14 has the capacity to consent, as determined by the department pursuant to
15 this article, or his or her legal representative may authorize the
16 installation and use of a monitoring device in a nursing home if all of
17 the following conditions are met:
18 (a) The resident or his or her legal representative gives notice of
19 the installation to the nursing home.
20 (b) If the monitoring device records activity visually, the recordings
21 made by the device include a record of the date and time.
22 (c) The resident pays for the monitoring device and all installation,
23 operation, maintenance, and removal costs associated with the device.
24 (d) Each resident occupying the same room who has the capacity to
25 consent, as determined by the department pursuant to this article, or
26 that resident's legal representative, gives written consent for the
27 installation of the monitoring device.
28 2. If the structure of the resident's room must be altered in order to
29 accommodate a monitoring device, then the renovation to the room may be
30 done only by a licensed contractor, subject to approval by the nursing
32 3. Any monitoring device installed in accordance with the provisions
33 of this article shall be in compliance with the National Fire Protection
34 Association Life Safety regulations.
35 § 2900-b. Monitoring device option; installation; consent of residents
36 in shared rooms; accommodation by nursing home. 1. (a) At the time of a
37 person's admission to a nursing home, the nursing home shall notify the
38 person of his or her right to have a monitoring device installed in his
39 or her room, and shall offer the person the option to have a monitoring
40 device. The resident or his or her roommate may exercise the right to
41 install or remove a monitoring device at any time during which he or she
42 resides in the nursing home. The nursing home shall keep a record of the
43 person's authorization or choice not to have a monitoring device.
44 (b) The nursing home shall make the record provided for in paragraph
45 (a) of this subdivision accessible to the ombudsman.
46 2. (a) If a resident who is residing in a shared room wishes to have a
47 monitoring device installed in the room and another resident living in
48 or moving into the same shared room refuses to consent to the use of the
49 monitoring device, then the nursing home shall make a reasonable attempt
50 to accommodate the resident who wishes to have the monitoring device
51 installed. A nursing home shall be deemed to have met this accommodation
52 requirement when, upon notification that a roommate has not consented to
53 the use of an electronic monitoring device in his or her room, the nurs-
54 ing home offers to move either resident to another shared room that is
55 available at the time of the request.
A. 6350 3
1 (b) If a resident chooses to reside in a private room in order to
2 accommodate the use of an electronic monitoring device, the resident
3 shall pay the private room rate. If a nursing home is unable to accommo-
4 date a resident due to lack of space, the nursing home shall reevaluate
5 the request at least once every two weeks until the request is
7 3. After authorization, consent, and notice in accordance with this
8 article, a resident or his or her legal representative may install,
9 operate, and maintain, at the expense of the resident, a monitoring
10 device in the room of the resident.
11 4. The nursing home shall cooperate to accommodate the installation of
12 the monitoring device unless doing so would place undue burden on the
13 nursing home.
14 5. The monitoring device shall be in a fixed, stationary position and
15 shall monitor only the resident who consents either personally or
16 through his or her legal representative to be monitored.
17 § 2900-c. Consent; waiver. 1. Consent to the authorization for instal-
18 lation and use of a monitoring device may be given only by the resident
19 or his or her legal representative.
20 2. Consent to the authorization for installation and use of a monitor-
21 ing device shall include a release of liability for the nursing home for
22 a violation of the resident's right to privacy insofar as the use of the
23 monitoring device is concerned.
24 3. A resident or his or her legal representative may reverse a choice
25 to have or not have a monitoring device installed and used at any time
26 after notice of such reversal has been made to the nursing home, and to
27 the ombudsman, upon a form prescribed by the department.
28 § 2900-d. Authorization form; content. The form for the authorization
29 of installation and use of a monitoring device shall provide for all of
30 the following:
31 1. Consent of the resident or his or her legal representative author-
32 izing the installation and use of the monitoring device.
33 2. Notice to the nursing home of the resident's installation of a
34 monitoring device and specifics as to the type, function, and use of the
36 3. Consent of any other resident sharing the same room, or that resi-
37 dent's legal representative, to the installation and use of a monitoring
39 4. Notice of release from liability for violation of privacy through
40 the use of the monitoring device.
41 5. Waiver of the resident's right to privacy in connection with the
42 use of the monitoring device.
43 § 2900-e. Immunity; unauthorized use. 1. In any civil action against a
44 nursing home, material obtained through the use of a monitoring device
45 shall not be used if the device was installed or used without the know-
46 ledge of the nursing home, or installed or used without the prescribed
48 2. Compliance with the provisions of this article shall be a complete
49 defense to any civil or criminal action brought against the resident,
50 legal representative, or nursing home for the use or presence of a moni-
51 toring device.
52 § 2900-f. Prohibited acts; civil and criminal penalties. 1. (a) No
53 nursing home shall deny a person or resident admission to or discharge
54 from a nursing home, or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against a
55 person or resident, because the person or resident chooses to authorize
56 installation and use of a monitoring device.
A. 6350 4
1 (b) Any person who knowingly or willfully violates the provisions of
2 paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall be subject to appropriate action
3 by the department as set forth in rules and regulations promulgated
4 pursuant to this article.
5 2. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subdivision, no
6 person shall intentionally hamper, obstruct, tamper with, or destroy a
7 monitoring device or a recording made by a monitoring device installed
8 in a nursing home pursuant to this article.
9 (b) The prohibition and penalties provided in this subdivision shall
10 not apply to the resident who owns the monitoring device or recording,
11 or to his or her legal representative.
12 § 2900-g. Public notice; signage of electronic monitoring device. 1.
13 If a resident of a nursing home conducts electronic monitoring, a sign
14 shall be clearly and conspicuously posted at the main entrance of the
15 nursing home building to alert and inform visitors. The sign shall be
16 in a large, clearly legible type and font and bear the words "Electronic
17 Monitoring" and shall further state in equally legible type and font
18 "The rooms of some residents may be equipped with electronic monitoring
19 devices installed by or on behalf of the resident."
20 2. A sign shall be clearly and conspicuously posted at the entrance of
21 a resident's room where authorized electronic monitoring is being
22 conducted. The sign shall be in large, clearly legible type and font and
23 bear the words "This room is electronically monitored."
24 3. The nursing home shall be responsible for reasonable costs of
25 installation and maintenance of the sign required by subdivision one of
26 this section. The resident or his or her legal representative shall be
27 responsible for installing and maintaining the sign required pursuant to
28 subdivision two of this section, which shall also be in accordance with
29 the written policy of the nursing home.
30 § 2900-h. Reporting abuse and neglect. Any person who views an inci-
31 dent which a reasonable person would consider abuse or neglect after
32 viewing a recording made in a nursing home shall report the incident to
33 the nursing home as soon as is practicable after the viewing. The nurs-
34 ing home shall be provided with a copy of the recording in which the
35 suspected incident of abuse or neglect occurred. If the recording must
36 be transferred to a different format to be viewed, the transfer shall be
37 done at the expense of the nursing home by a qualified professional who
38 can certify that the contents of the recording were not altered.
39 § 2900-i. Administrative rulemaking. The department shall adopt rules
40 and regulations necessary for the implementation of the provisions of
41 this article.
42 § 3. 1. On or before January 1, 2022, each nursing home licensed by
43 the department of health shall provide to each resident of the nursing
44 home or, if applicable, the legal guardian or legally appointed substi-
45 tute decision-maker authorized to act on behalf of the resident, a form
46 prescribed by the department of health explaining the provisions of
47 section two this act, and give each resident or his or her legal repre-
48 sentative or legally appointed substitute decision-maker authorized to
49 act on behalf of the resident, a choice to have a monitoring device
50 installed in the room of the resident.
51 2. Each nursing home shall retain a copy of each form completed in
52 accordance with this section, and shall make all such forms accessible
53 to the administrator of the office of the state long-term care ombudsman
54 within the office for the aging.
55 § 4. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 2808-e
56 to read as follows:
A. 6350 5
1 § 2808-e. Long-term care ombudsman program; notification to residents.
2 Each nursing home and residential health care facility in this state
3 shall provide notice to each resident of such nursing home or facility
4 and to the immediate family members of such resident informing such
5 resident and family members of the long-term care ombudsman program set
6 forth in section two hundred eighteen of the elder law. Such notice
7 shall provide and prominently display the name of and contact informa-
8 tion for the local ombudsman entity designated to operate the local
9 long-term care ombudsman program for such nursing home or facility. In
10 addition, each nursing home and residential health care facility shall
11 provide such notice to such resident and family members: (a) at least
12 once annually; (b) at any time that the contact information for the
13 local ombudsman entity designated to operate the local long-term care
14 ombudsman program for such nursing home or facility changes; and (c) at
15 any time that there is a change in the local ombudsman entity designated
16 to operate the local long-term care ombudsman program for such nursing
17 home or facility.
18 § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.