Once again, we have a politician making policy decisions without the benefit of reason. Incredibly, Governor Cuomo (of New York) has directed that New York nursing homes CANNOT deny admission or re-admission from a hospital in instances where there is either a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or a suspected case of COVID-19. If such a decision is enforced, it will lead to unnecessary additional affliction and death from the disease. Irresponsible decisions, such as this, will only serve to prolong this unprecedented pandemic.
THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RELEASED AN ADVISORY PERTAINING TO THE ADMISSION OR READMISSION OF RESIDENTS TO NURSING HOMES FROM HOSPITALS
THE ADVISORY PROHIBITS NURSING HOMES FROM REFUSING ADMISSION BASED ON A CONFIRMED OR SUSPECTED DIAGNOSIS OF COVID-19
THE ADVISORY IS ESPECIALLY CONCERNING GIVEN GOV. CUOMO’S RECENT EXECUTIVE ORDER 202.10, WHICH GRANTED IMMUNITY FROM CIVIL LIABILITY TO CERTAIN HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS AND PROFESSIONALS BUT EXCLUDED LONG-TERM CARE/NURSING HOME FACILITIES AND CERTIFIED NURSE AIDES
On March 25, 2020, the New York State Department of Health issued “Advisory: Hospital Discharges and Admissions to Nursing Homes” to nursing home administrators, directors of nursing, directors of social work, and hospital discharge planners regarding nursing homes (NHs), pertaining to the expedited receipt of residents entering or returning to NHs from hospitals. The advisory states, in part:
No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. NHs are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.
The advisory is especially concerning in light of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.10, which we discussed earlier this week. Signed March 23, 2020, the order provides immunity from civil liability to certain health care professionals such as physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, and licensed practice nurses who provide care in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, but does not extend that immunity to long-term care/skilled nursing facilities or certified nurse aides.
It remains to be seen how this advisory will impact future claims regarding COVID-19 care and treatment against nursing homes.
For more information regarding how this directive will affect long-term care facilities or certified nurse aides, please contact: