Nursing home staffing ratios are a major component of resident safety. Learn about the relevant legislation in New York State Assembly and why it matters.

The Nursing Home Reform Act was passed back in 1987, yet the treatment of nursing home residents is still problematic across the country. Nursing home abuse lawyers represent cases where residents have suffered from many different forms of ill-treatment and neglect. While some abuse is the result of violent or negligent behavior on the part of individual staff members, widespread neglect is often the result of understaffed facilities where there simply aren’t enough nurses to properly care for every resident.

In June, the New York State Assembly passed a Safe Staffing bill that calls for hospitals and nursing homes to meet nurse-to-patient ratios. While it is doubtful whether the bill will pass through the Senate, it has the support of many nurses who recognize that they can provide a better level of care for smaller numbers of patients. At nursing homes where the majority of patients may have their bills paid by Medicare and Medicaid, the need to save on expenses can lead to understaffing or cycles of new employees.
As Joe Stanley explains, “It is far easier to hire temporary staff or unskilled staff than it is to pay a little bit more for staff that is invested in the process.” When it comes to institutions like nursing homes, it makes sense that the business would seek only to meet the minimum legal requirements for workers. Currently, California is the only state that has passed legal requirements for nurse staffing ratios in healthcare facilities. Families of residents would hope that their loved ones are treated with dignity and respect, but abuse and neglect are widespread in the current system.
If you are looking for a safe nursing home for a loved one, it is possible to search for the facility’s ratings with Medicare and the New York State Department of Health. Visiting multiple times and walking around the building (beyond the official guided tour) will provide a better perspective on staffing. Once a loved one has become a resident, it is a good idea to visit frequently. Signs of abuse and neglect can be difficult to notice in a single visit. Unfortunately, given the limited efficacy of state and federal regulations, families must often turn to nursing home abuse lawyers to protect their loved ones. To speak with nursing home abuse lawyers that take these cases personally, contact Stanley Law Offices.