Empowering Health Care Consumers

Project Title

Strengthening Patient Protections in New York’s Long-Term Care Settings

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Date Awarded

December 9, 2022


Western NY


In Progress



While nursing homes provide critical services, widespread problems exist.

New York is among the states with the highest number of one- and two-star nursing home facilities as rated on a federal five-star quality and safety rating system. These ratings underscore findings from the federal government that New York State struggles to oversee nursing homes, identify substandard care, and ensure that violations of quality and safety standards are corrected. Absent sufficient regulatory oversight and enforcement, residents and their representatives must be informed about care standards, resident rights, and how these rights can be realized. Doing so entails educating and engaging family caregivers to seek improvements in their loved ones’ care through engagement with administrators and policy changes. In 2022, NYHealth awarded the Center for Elder Law & Justice (CELJ) a grant to educate and support older adults, their families, and the ombudsmen that represent them to improve the safety, quality, and experience of long-term care.

Under this grant, CELJ will identify patterns in nursing home care and elevate concerns through legal practice and policy advocacy. Partnering with Empire Justice Center, CELJ will expand the geographic reach of its long-term care education and legal expertise throughout Western and Central New York. CELJ and Empire Justice Center will collect information from families, ombudsmen, nursing home and hospital staff, and local offices on aging to better understand direct experiences with nursing home care and will incorporate findings into a set of consumer-facing educational materials and trainings. They will also hold outreach events, leveraging LTCCC’s statewide network of aging professionals and advocates. By engaging with families, CELJ and Empire Justice Center will create a referral pipeline for nursing home residents in need of legal assistance and capture trends in families’ experiences with nursing home care.

NYHealth is supporting a complementary initiative, focused on trainings and tools for family members and other health care advocates seeking to resolve concerns and complaints, with a grant to the Long Term Care Community Coalition.