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Senate Democrats spearhead legislation to provide relief to long-term care facilities impacted by COVID-19

By Staff | Jun 17, 2020

FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2013 file photo New Hampshire Democratic state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark speaks to a senate committee during a hearing, in Concord, N.H. The longtime legislator announced Thursday, May 28, 2020 that she is retiring from office and won't seek re-election this year, saying it's time for "a new generation of political leaders" to fill her seat. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

CONCORD – The New Hampshire Senate passed HB 578-FN. The bill combines the work of Senator Jon Morgan (D-Brentwood), Senator Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua), and Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) in SB 545, SB 715, and SB 570 to establish a committee to study the safety of residents and employees in long-term care facilities and clarify cost controls in long-term care and ensure facilities can be reimbursed from Medicaid for the costs of nurse training.

After the vote, Senator Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth) issued the following statement:

“The coronavirus pandemic has hit our long term care facilities at an alarming rate. Nearly 80% of New Hampshire’s fatalities have taken place in our nursing homes and long term care facilities. We have lost 1.5% of our long term care residents to this crisis. For too many families, this meant losing their loved ones without being able to say goodbye due to the risks of outside transmission. The health and safety of our long term care residents and the staff charged with their protection is of paramount importance.

HB 578 as amended puts new systems in place to protect our vulnerable populations and do everything we can to prevent future loss of life, including adequate testing for both residents and staff, greater access to PPE, and Medicaid reimbursements for training the nurses that provide critical care to our loved ones in these facilities. It is our job as elected officials to work towards the good of New Hampshire. Our long term care residents and staff not only deserve our attention, but deserve all of the protection the state has to offer.”


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