Karcher Bill To Require 60-Day Notification Of Nursing Home Closures

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would require 60-day notice in the event of closure or relocation of a nursing home or assisted living residences was unanimously approved today by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

“Residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities can’t be expected to up and move on a moment’s notice,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “They need time to make alternative plans, and find new residential care facilities. Under this legislation, they will get proper notice to give families enough time to make educated, well-thought-out decisions regarding their loved one’s care.”

The bill, S-1952, would require that at least 60 days prior to the proposed date of closing or relocation of a licensed nursing home or assisted living facility, the facility administrator must notify, in writing, the residents, or their legal representatives, if applicable, and the State Department of Health and Senior Services. The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services may waive the 60-day notice requirement, on an emergency basis. Under current law, notification must happen at least 30 days prior to closing or relocation.

“In many cases, 30 days is just not enough time to find adequate residential care for our loved ones,” said Senator Karcher. “However, in some cases, the managers and administrators of these facilities know well in advance, and have already planned for their own futures. Through this legislation, we will be affording seniors and their families the same prior knowledge to make the necessary arrangements.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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