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Costs of Coroners Reporting on Nursing Home Deaths Cause Concern

A bill that would require a coroner to be called to all nursing home deaths so they can be investigated in the event of foul play or other issues is stalling in the state’s General Assembly, states a report.

The bill, which would require all nursing homes in the state to contact the local coroner’s office when a nursing home patient dies, is designed to ensure that any abuse or neglect occurred, it could be investigated. However, opponents of the bill cite the costs that such measures would incur.

The state’s chief medical examiner states that if the bill is passed, in order for the local coroner offices to comply three more doctors, and an undisclosed number of additional support staff would be needed. There would also be a need for additional equipment for the required investigations, reports a doctor.

Most assembly members and the medical community support the bill. The questions that are raised concern where the funds to pay the support staff and to purchase the needed extra equipment, along with any additional staff the nursing home facilities might need will come from, explains a source.

The bill not only would require nursing homes Manhattan and Long Island to report any deaths at their facilities, but also a specific staff would need to be designated at the long-term care facilities and all death would have to be reported to the local county coroner’s office within 24 hours.

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