Understaffing is a common problem in many of the worst-rated nursing homes in Western New York. Residents in these facilities often must wait long periods to be taken to the bathroom, have their diapers changed or receive assistance in being fed, according to their relatives. A proposed state bill would require nursing homes and hospitals to maintain specific minimum staffing ratios for nurses and certified nursing assistants. At present, these facilities are required only to have “sufficient” staffing levels. The bill, which passed in the Assembly in 2016 but was not voted on by the Senate, is expected to gain more support when Democrats take control of both chambers next year, according to two legislators representing Buffalo. Under the bill, each nursing home’s registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants would have to spend a total of 291 minutes a day with each resident, on average. Only 49 of the 619 nursing homes in New York State — or 8 percent — now meet the proposed law’s ratio, according to data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. And HighPointe on Michigan, a nursing home owned by Kaleida Health, is the only nursing home in Erie… Read full this story
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