Advocacy | Be Their Voice

Advocacy | Be Their Voice

TAKE ACTION NOW: Oppose NY A.286/S.1997

As of May 17, 2022, bill A.286 (Gunther) was added to the New York State Assembly Debate list. If the Assembly chooses to take up the debate list, this bill threatens to be passed in the Assembly. Due to the pandemic and associated healthcare staffing crisis, the health and well-being of our most vulnerable NY State residents are at risk due to years of chronic underfunding and lack of state support during a once-in-a-century pandemic. We ask you again to come alongside us and advocate for the seniors we serve.

What the bill does. A.286/S.1997 would increase penalties on providers for requiring mandatory overtime of nurses. This bill proposes civil penalties of up-to $1,000 for a first violation, $2,000 for a second violation, or $3,000 for a third or subsequent violation. The employee shall receive an additional fifteen percent of the overtime payment from the employer for each violation as damages.

How does this affect Ives Hill?

Ives Hill is committed to providing comfort and care to each resident we serve. While we do not mandate overtime on a regular basis for our nursing staff, and often staff volunteer to cover if needed in critical events, there are extreme circumstances when this may become necessary such as crisis events including weather-related issues or extreme staffing shortage circumstances due to mass call-offs or casualty events. This has always been a part of our emergency policies and procedures. This proposed bill places nursing homes in an impossible position due to the need to comply with the new laws on nursing home staffing hours. With this bill, most nursing homes across the state will be required to choose between being penalized for not reaching the nurse hours requirement, or being penalized for having to use mandatory overtime in order to comply with the nurse hours law. This mandate could force nursing homes throughout New York State to face large fines if not in compliance, discontinue admissions, close units, or even be forced to sell, or close their doors permanently.

What does this mean for my loved one?

We are committed to the health and safety of both our staff and residents. Our dedicated staff already do so much and work so hard for our residents during a standard work week. The last thing we want to do is require overtime of our existing nurses. However, to remain in compliance with the newly passed staffing requirement minimums, and in the event that our residents’ needs require our organization use mandatory overtime to provide critical care and service, we should not be penalized for doing so.

How can I help?

The solution to reducing nurse overtime is to provide better Medicaid reimbursement to allow for more competitive salaries, and more investment in training new nurses. The answer is not to impose more penalties.

PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE ASSEMBLY MEMBER NOW to oppose A.286 (Gunther) when it comes up for a vote on the Assembly Floor. After you place a call to your Assembly Member’s Office, please also send this digital advocacy letter to your Assembly Member, Senator and the Governor. Find your Assembly Member’s phone number here.

Again, we share this information so you can understand our commitment to those we serve. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for Ives Hill and our greatest generation, our seniors.

Please contact Sallie Williams, Vice President of Advancement at advocacy@heritage1886.org for more information or to share your concerns.

SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS

SKILLED NURSING/NURSING HOMES

@GovKathyHochul MUST provide meaningful funding to NY Nursing Homes in this year’s budget! A 1% Medicaid increase after years of cuts is not enough. Nursing Homes need resources to be able to compete for staff and serve residents. All seniors deserve better. #SupportOurSeniors

@GovKathyHochul ALL seniors deserve better funding and support from the state. Nearly 75% of nursing home care is paid for by Medicaid; the rest is mostly Medicare. Better staffing in nursing homes requires better funding than a 1% increase to inadequate rates. #SupportOurSeniors

@GovKathyHochul No funding has been provided to enable nursing homes to meet new staffing mandates, which ignore the reality of the healthcare workforce crisis. We need funding and support for nursing homes, not penalties! We must do better.

@GovKathyHochul NY nursing homes need over 12,000 new nurses and aides to comply with the new 3.5 nurse hour mandate. Homes cannot reach this shared goal of enhanced staffing without a substantial Medicaid increase to recruit them. Please #SupportOurSeniors in this budget!

ASSISTED LIVING

@GovKathyHochul State funding is going to Broadway, bars and the Bills, but not for needed COVID relief funding to adult care facilities and assisted living. Don’t leave these residents and staff behind. Please #SupportOurSeniors!

@GovKathyHochul After 14 years without a Medicaid increase, New York’s assisted living programs need more than a 1% increase. Low-income older adults living in these settings deserve better. Please #SupportOurSeniors in the final budget!

Friends of Ives Hill, we reach out to you today to again share updates in how recent legislation concerns in New York State continue to impact those we serve. Two bills have been proposed in New York State that will directly impact assisted living communities, including Heritage if passed.

What are the bills?

  • 196 (Gottfried)/S.1576 (Rivera), is a proposed bill potentially severe impacts. If passed would impose new costly and potentially devastating requirements and penalties for organizations, including Heritage, who provided assisted living services to seniors. The bill increases the potential penalties for assisted care facilities (ACF) violations from $1,000 to $2,000 per violation per day – or $3,000 for a repeat violation. ACFs are already struggling under the weight of regulations, with COVID-19 almost daily introducing new challenges, risks, mandates, costs, and severe penalties. The Department of Health (DOH) already works to issue fines at their discretion when warranted, and this increase is unreasonable – the bill removes that flexibility. For example, ACFs have been required to submit a daily COVID-19 report to the DOH. They receive a violation if it is submitted even a few minutes late; and yet, there are so many reasons why staff are being pulled in many different directions leading to a late submission, including most importantly, the top priority for all of us – resident care.
  • Another bill, has advanced to the Senate Finance committee. Bill 9575 (Solages)/S.1593 (Rivera), would allow ACFs to directly employ licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs) to provide care is assisted living communities, including Heritage. The passing of this bill could help us provide additional, and often much-needed, care to our assisted living residents as they continue to live vibrant lives in the place they call home.

What does this mean for Heritage?

At Heritage, we remain committed to providing care that meets, and often exceeds, all standards provided by NYS, and continue to do so. Increasing the fines to care communities—with the maximum potential fine per violation per day rising to $3,000 – will be devastating for many organizations, including Heritage, and could lead to driving up the cost of care for residents, reduced admissions, or being forced to close their doors permanently and forcing residents to move to a skilled nursing community.

Additionally, allowing RNs and LPNs to provide care in assisted living communities will allow many organizations, including Heritage to provide additional, and often much-needed, care to our assisted living residents as they continue to live vibrant lives in the only place they call home.

How can I help?

Click HERE to let your elected representative know you oppose A.196/S.1576, which imposes increased fines on assisted living communities.

Click HERE to let your elected representative know you support passing A.9575/S.1593 and let them know what positive impact passing the bill will have for the seniors we serve.

Again, we share this information so you can understand our commitment to those we serve, we are happy to answer any questions you might have. Please contact Sallie Williams, Vice President of Advancement at advocacy@heritage1886.org for more information or to share your concerns.

Come alongside Heritage and contact your representatives, urging them to support funding for pandemic-related costs.

GET STARTED

The Heritage Ministries public policy team advocates on behalf of our residents, their families, and our staff, to enact policies that will address the needs, quality care, and safety that ensures all our communities are beacons of Hope, Dignity, and Purposeful Living. Add your voice to ours!

WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

1. Sign up to be an advocate!
2. Share your story!
3. Like us on Facebook for real-time updates.
4. Contact your representatives (below).

KEY CONTACTS

GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

Kathy Hochul
(518) 474-8390
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Email

US REPRESENTATIVE

Elise Stefanik
(315) 782-3150 or 782-1291
88 Public Square
Suite A
Watertown, NY 13601

NEW YORK HOUSE

Mark Walczyk
(315) 786-0284
317 Washington Street
Dulles State Office
Watertown, NY 13601
Email

NEW YORK SENATE

Patty Ritchie
(315) 782-3418
317 Washington St
Dulles State Office Building
Room 418
Watertown, NY 13601
Email

Please share this message and contact information with family members waiting to see their loved ones - encourage them to contact Governor Hochul today!

CONTACT US

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For advocacy questions and for general inquiries, please contact us at questions@heritage1886.org.

For press inquiries, please contact Melissa Anderson at manderson@heritage1886.org or (716) 338-1585.