Statement from Lisa Haglund, Chief Executive Officer

This afternoon, the New York State Assembly joined the Senate in passing A.8874-B (Joyner)/S.8063-A (Ramos), an overtime penalties bill. Lisa Haglund, chief executive officer, Heritage Ministries, issued the statement below in response.

“It’s time to start putting solutions for seniors before penalties for nursing homes.”

“Our seniors who are cared for in nursing homes and the people who care for them deserve better than a system that is constantly in survival mode. Yet, that’s literally the only option for many nursing home operators throughout New York State. Why? Because more than two years into a global pandemic – and facing an historic staffing crisis – New York State is still thinking punitively and not proactively.

Existing penalties for not providing 3.5 hours of care per resident per day were further exacerbated today when the legislature approved additional fines when nursing homes require mandatory overtime in order to comply with the 3.5 hours requirement. No non-profit nursing home provider wants to require mandatory overtime of our nurses, but it’s often our only option to address severe staffing shortages. This industry cannot sustain these debilitating sanctions, and New York State can no longer afford to punish its way out of this problem.

Our limited funding should be used to continuously improve quality of care by supporting our dedicated staff with competitive salaries and strengthening our workforce with greater investment in recruitment and training. Every dollar spent paying a penalty puts this industry further from funding actual solutions.It’s time for New York State to start putting solutions for seniors before penalties for nursing homes.”