State Budget

State Budget Updatecapitol-dome

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) care for Pennsylvania’s sickest and frailest elderly and disabled who need 24/7 care. Over the years, the acuity (sickness) level of these residents has increased.  As the level of care needed by residents has risen, so has the cost to provide this care.

Unfortunately, funding has not kept pace with costs, especially for those supported by Medicaid, putting Pennsylvania’s SNFs on a financially unsustainable path –even as the need for high-quality long-term care continues to grow.

  • Two-thirds of all SNF residents rely on Medicaid for daily living needs.
  • One in five Pennsylvanians is age 60 or older; by 2020 this will rise to one in four.
  • Already, Pennsylvania’s SNF’s are 90 percent full.

Many nursing facilities are struggling to survive. Having already reduced staff or cut programs because of financial hardship, some are now turning away individuals on Medicaid because they can’t afford to care for them.

Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program doesn’t come close to covering the real cost of care. Two-thirds of these residents are on Medicaid, and for each one of them, the cost of care exceeds the Medicaid payments by an average of $47.36 a day or $17,200 annually.

Pennsylvania’s skilled nursing facilities are on a financially unsustainable path. The current level of funding is not adequate to provide the quality care our citizens need.

  • SNFs can’t invest in advanced medical technology that could aid in patient care.
  • SNFs can’t invest in capital improvements to upgrade aged buildings.
  • SNFs can’t invest in staff by offering competitive wages and/or benefits, leading to higher turnover. Studies show higher turnover can lead to lower quality care.

Increased Medicaid Funding is CRITICAL to Skilled Nursing Care, and PHCA will advocate for increased funding in the 2017-18 budget.

Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Zach Shamberg, Director of Advocacy and Legislative Affairs, at (717) 221-7934 or

Issue Briefs

2017-18 State Budget

This brief makes the case for seniors to be a priority in the 2018-19 state budget: Medicaid funded nursing facilities need a 2.6% increase in the FY 2018-2019 budget and the legislature must provide $17 million to fully fund the Medicaid Access Program to preserve access to care.

June 2018
Pennsylvania’s Long-Term Care Medicaid Funding: MYTH VS. FACT

MYTH: Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) is less costly to the Pennsylvania Medicaid program than Nursing Home Care. FACT: When a Medicaid-eligible Pennsylvanian needs round-the-clock skilled nursing and rehabilitation services (which are provided to them in a nursing home), that level of care is the most efficient use of Pennsylvania’s tax dollars—and the safest and most appropriate level of care for that individual.

February 2017
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