New York AG Demands Implementation of State Hospital Staffing Law

Hospital staffing: New York AG demands implementation of state hospital staffing law. In 2021, legislation was signed into law requiring all New York general hospitals to create a clinical staffing committee by January 1, 2022. The committees were charged with developing and overseeing clinical staffing plans for the designated state medical facilities. Recently, the New York AG called for the implementation of the hospital staffing law.


 Assembly Bill A108B


The purpose of Assembly Bill A108B was to create a requirement for the state’s general hospitals to establish clinical staffing committees to develop and oversee clinical staffing plans. Staffing committees were to consist of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, ancillary staff members providing direct patient care, and hospital administrators that were to be established by January 1, 2022.


The Committee’s responsibilities include developing and overseeing the implementation of a clinical staffing plan that includes “specific guidelines or ratios, matrices, or grids indicating how many patients are assigned to each nurse and the number of ancillary staff in each unit.” In addition, the hospital staffing Committees are required to complete and submit the plans to the N.Y. Department of Health (DOH) each year.


The new law was created to support hospital staffing and reduce medical issues that increase costs and mortality from hospital-acquired complications. Ideally, by developing staffing plans, hospitals would have improved outcomes and safer working conditions. In addition, the hospital staffing Committees were to be developed to encourage collaboration between nursing and other staff while considering the individual needs of each hospital. Ultimately, the staffing plans and requirements were meant to improve patient safety and ensure the delivery of quality healthcare services. Although the law did not impose specific staffing ratios, the development of the plans was expected to lead to that result.


New York AG Demands Implementation of State Staffing Plans


The impacted New York hospitals submitted staffing plans in 2022 and will be required to do so each year beginning in July 2023. In addition, the legislation required the state health department to impose a universal ratio requirement for all intensive care units by January 1, 2022.


Specifically, the law required the NY DOH to promulgate a minimum standard of “12 hours of registered nurse care per patient per day,” intended to be equivalent to a 2-1 patient-to-nurse ratio. However, according to a recent report, the health department has yet to implement these requirements. In January of 2023, New York Attorney General Leticia James addressed a group outside of Mount Sinai Hospital calling for the NY DOH to enforce the 2021 state law on hospital staffing.


Hospital Staffing and Patient Care


Quality patient care requires adequate hospital staffing. Health risks and adverse patient outcomes may be significantly reduced when facilities have enough personnel for those being treated. Conversely, when hospitals have lower staffing levels, patients have higher rates of pneumonia, cardiac arrest, shock, infection, and other serious medical issues. Unfortunately, patients often suffer serious health complications under these and other neglectful conditions.


The truth is that overworked and understaffed healthcare facilities can lead to medical malpractice. Patients deserve to have clinically sound staffing ratios and care. However, when patients undergo treatment and surgical care in an understaffed setting, there are more opportunities for medical negligence.


If you or a loved one have been harmed while under the care of a New York healthcare facility, it may be due to understaffing or other medical care deficiencies. Under these circumstances, it’s important to have the advocacy of a medical malpractice attorney to help you recover damages for your injuries.


Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney


At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we are dedicated New York medical malpractice lawyers who can help you hold those responsible for your medical malpractice injuries responsible. We have successfully fought on behalf of many clients in cases due to nurse and medical provider understaffing. If you or a loved one has been injured due to inadequate care or staffing and want the facts of that medical care investigated, you should contact the Med Law team at 1-888-MEDLAW1 or call us online to schedule your free consultation. Se Habla Espaňol. Home and hospital visits are available.