Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester) announced that a bill he sponsored to require the state Department of Health (DOH) to publish online all inspections conducted on nursing homes and residential health care facilities during the COVID-19 crisis passed the Assembly (A.1010-A).
“It shouldn’t take a critical report by the Attorney General for critical information about our state nursing homes to be accessible to the public,” Bronson said. “In the wake of this tragedy, it’s more important than ever that New Yorkers have the transparency they need to make informed decisions and trust that their loved ones are being properly cared for. My bill will ensure the public receives the complete and accurate information we need to better protect our most vulnerable as well as ensure no other families ever have to undergo this combination of confusion and grief again.”
A January report by the state Attorney General revealed that New York State undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths by as much as 50%. The report also found that many facilities failed to comply with infection control policies and lacked critical supplies and staff. The report highlights the urgency of passing this legislation, Bronson noted.
Bronson’s bill would ensure all nursing home inspection data is available to the public for review through the DOH website. It would also require the DOH to conduct and publish a study documenting the best practices in these facilities for preventing and containing outbreaks of COVID-19 or any future outbreaks of other disease. The only way we can prevent another tragedy like this from occurring is to have all the facts and to be transparent; and this legislation provides New Yorkers and lawmakers with just that, Bronson noted.