Hochul urged not to repeat Cuomo nursing home’s mistakes

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In the early hours of her administration, Governor Kathy Hochul pledged to strengthen core transparency for public document requests and reports during the pandemic. His office has started to focus on data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on deaths from COVID-19, which is believed to be more comprehensive.

But lawmakers and advocates for nursing homes and long-term care facilities in New York City don’t want her to repeat the mistakes of her predecessor, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“This is a difficult problem and I understand, but unless we get together and have honest and difficult conversations, how can we help our senior population in New York?” said MP Ron Kim, a Democrat from Queens and outspoken critic of Cuomo’s management of nursing homes.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn has launched a criminal investigation into how the governor’s office under Cuomo reported the death of a nursing home, a separate investigation from the civilian inquiry into nursing home policy in New York which has since ended.

Cuomo and his former associates have denied any wrongdoing. Yet the subtext of Hochul’s transparency campaign to reverse the image of the governor’s office and state government as a whole has been too secretive and callous.

Kim believes Hochul should go further, including meeting with family members in the nursing homes of those who died during the pandemic. He also called for a commission to examine what was wrong with nursing homes, which would likely include a controversial order from March 2020 that led to the transfer of COVID-19 positive patients to nursing homes. and long-term care facilities.

At the same time, Kim wants the state to increase staff at the facilities.

“We need to understand what it takes to attract new employees and retain them in this industry,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot of effort. Families and workers are the ones with the clear answers because they are on the ground seeing the failures in real time.”

Jim Clyne, president of Leading Age New York, a group that represents nonprofit care facilities, says it is possible to attract workers to meaningful jobs like caring for the vulnerable.

“Recruiting and retaining workers so that we have sufficient numbers to take care of the elderly we are caring for, that has to be the number one job,” he said.

But it takes money. Clyne this month in a letter urged the state’s health department to provide more funding to long-term care facilities to increase hiring and create smaller executives for residents, building on federal support for the Medicaid program.

“Without investment in the long-term care system, I think we’re going to get stuck with the system we have now,” he said. “While if we have dollars right now we could come in, we could benefit some people who are receiving services. “

The Ministry of Health in a statement to Spectrum 1 News said he was already in the process of applying for Medicaid funding through the waiver process.

The ministry submitted a concept paper to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requesting $ 17 billion in new Medicaid funding over five years as part of an 1115 waiver demonstration because it is designed to address the link between disparities in health and systemic health care delivery issues that have been highlighted and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which include many components of the long-term care sector, ”a spokesperson said word.

Overall, Clyne is hopeful that the new governor takes a different approach to the problem than his predecessor and pays attention to the problem.

“We think the governor has a chance to come in and really take a new approach, a partnership approach, where we’re trying to provide the best level of care,” he said.

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