Some people and organizations question the merits of “a so-called staffing bill” designed to implement minimum staff requirements for New York state nursing homes. They state that focus should be on low-ranking nursing homes and not ones with high-quality rankings.

With due diligence, my research discovered that nursing homes across the country have learned to game the system in order to increase their ratings, driven in part of obtaining that almighty Medicare dollar.

Opponents state that “Focus on the homes where residents are poorly served” should be the main regulatory impetus. This suggestion has eerie overtones to what airline industry safety advocates call “tombstone policy.” In other words, wait till someone dies or is injured to implement new safety policies and/or regulations. Opponents state their perspective will incentivize sub-par nursing to reach higher standards

My mother was a patient at the Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. I was there every day. Staffing shortages were the norm, not the exception. I watched my mother’s health decay and eventually die in front of my eyes. I have all the incentive I need to see this bill pass in Albany.

Jody Starr, Buffalo

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