Client Alert: NYS Nursing Home Investigations

By Patrick Formato, Barbara Phair and Frank Mazzagatti

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated that nursing homes are a top priority for the state to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The state will investigate nursing homes to ensure that they are following the additional rules that have been implemented to address the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re going to undertake an investigation of nursing homes now to make sure they're following the rules. It's going to be a joint Department of Health and Attorney General investigation. They get paid to take care of a resident and they have to do it in accordance with state rules, and if they don't, we will take appropriate action,” he said.

Governor Cuomo said nursing homes must:

  • Require staff to wear PPE and have their temperatures taken
  • Quarantine any residents with coronavirus
  • Notify all residents and family members of coronavirus cases
  • Transfer any residents to another facility if they cannot provide adequate care

Governor Cuomo said, “if nursing homes do not follow the rules, they will be subject to a fine or may lose their license. Today, we are directing nursing homes to immediately report to DOH actions they have taken to comply with all DOH and CDC Directives.”

DOH will inspect the facilities that have not complied with the DOH and CDC directives, including separation policies, staffing policies, and inadequate PPE.

In addition, Attorney General James has encouraged complainants to call the NYS Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to report cases of nursing home non-compliance with certain infection control procedures or PPE shortages, similar to how cases of nursing home resident neglect and abuse are reported.

If DOH and Attorney General James determine that the facilities failed to comply with directives and guidance, DOH will immediately require the facilities to submit an action plan, and facilities could be fined $10,000 per violation or lose their license.

The healthcare attorneys at Abrams Fensterman are committed to providing you with the most current and accurate information and guidance from the New York State Department of Health and via Executive Orders issued by the Governor, CMS, and the CDC. When updated information is made available, we will provide you with additional or revised Client Updates. If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Formato, Esq., Barbara Stegun Phair, Esq., Frank A. Mazzagatti, Esq., or any other attorney in our health law practice group.