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Poloncarz signs 'Ruthie's Law,' aimed at nursing home accountability

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz signed a new nursing home accountability measure on Friday called "Ruthie's Law."

The law, fast-tracked by the County Legislature, sets additional nursing home accountability rules and requires that all nursing homes in Erie County contact designated loved ones within two hours and provide what the law specified as "all known information" if a resident suffers serious injuries requiring outside treatment.

Ruthie's Law also requires nursing homes to give prospective nursing home patients and their families a copy of the nursing home's performance rating, and to provide a summary of incident reports to the county's Department of Senior Services twice a year.

The law was named for Ruth Murray, 82, who was severely beaten by a fellow nursing home resident in August and later died. Family members were not notified of the extent of her injuries until hours after she had gone to the hospital.

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