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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

New York State considers an important nursing home minimum staffing bill

It is well-known that the more staff members that a nursing home has, including certified nursing assistants, registered nurses, and licensed practical nurses, the better the care is in most situations. However, New York State is one of a few states that does not require nursing homes to have a minimum number of staff, or minimum staffing standards. This may be due in large part to the efforts of the powerful nursing home owners, who have lobbied for no minimum staffing standards. Why? Because having set and required minimum staffing requirements in nursing homes increase the owner's payroll and cuts into their profits.

There is a bill pending in the New York legislature in Albany called the "Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act", which would, if passed, mandate minimum staffing levels at nursing homes and hospitals.

The New York State Assembly passed the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act in 2016, but it did not pass in the Senate, which was then controlled by Republicans. Come January 2019, the New York State Senate will be subject to a Democratic majority, and the staffing bill is expected to pick up fresh support. A copy of the bill can be found here.

It was reported that the "Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act" would require nursing homes and hospitals to maintain specific minimum staffing ratios for nurses and certified nursing assistants, whereby RNs, CNAs and licensed practical nurses would have to spend a total of 291 minutes a day with each resident, on average. Only 8 percent of New York nursing homes currently meet this proposed "minimum" standard, which can be argued accounts for and contributes to the high prevalence of abuse, neglect, negligence and improper care found at many New York nursing homes.

The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) fervently support the bill and the increased staffing, and are fighting to increase staffing in facilities they say are understaffed.

The New York State Nurses Association points out that the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act will do the following:

  • Make sure there are enough nurses at the bedside of patients

  • Set a cap on the number of patients a nurse is responsible for at any given time

  • Establish safe nurse-to-patient ratios in all of New York Hospitals

  • Require hospitals to staff nurses in the specific unit for which they are trained

  • Require hospitals to be more transparent

More information can be found on NYSNA's website here. The nurses argue that research shows that safe staffing saves lives in nursing homes and hospitals.

The attorneys at Leitner Varughese are recognized by their peers as leaders in the effort to ensure that victims of nursing home abuse, neglect and negligence are sufficiently compensated for their injuries under the law. In having handled hundreds of cases on behalf of nursing home residents who have been seriously injured, there is no question that there is a direct correlation between inadequate staffing and cases of neglect and negligence.

If you believe that your loved one has been abused and or mistreated in a New York nursing home, call Leitner Varughese PLLC today to see what your legal rights are.

Leitner Varughese PLLC is a cutting-edge litigation and trial law firm uniquely experienced in handling high-profile, complex lawsuits involving serious injuries and wrongful death. The Firm has vast experience in handling cases involving Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, and has vast experience handling these cases in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Bronx County, Kings County, Richmond County, Queens County, New York County, Westchester County and Rockland County.

In addition to handling these types of cases, Leitner Varughese PLLC routinely and successfully represents victims that have been sustained serious injuries caused by:

Construction Accidents Medical Malpractice Motor Vehicle Accidents Trip / Slip & Fall Accidents Labor Law Violations Negligent Premises Security Products Liability Defective Drugs

For more information about Leitner Varughese PLLC or to be a part of our team, please contact us at (855) LV LAW NY (855-585-2969), or visit our website at

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