January 30, 2017
Contact: Eric Kiehl, 717-221-7935
Cell: 717-599-2077

PHCA Response to Department Consolidation Announcement by Gov. Wolf

HARRISBURG — W. Russell McDaid, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s proposal to create a Department of Health and Human Services.

“We support the Administration’s proposal to create a Department of Health and Human Services. The agencies the Administration is proposing to merge have a wide range of responsibilities, including administering the state’s $20-plus billion Medicaid program, containing funding for nursing facility care; distributing aid to programs for the disabled; managing services for older Pennsylvanians through the lottery fund; licensing and surveying skilled nursing facilities and licensing and inspecting assisted living residences and personal care homes.

“This proposal will allow the state’s regulatory agencies and the Medicaid program to work in unison to develop policies that positively impact nursing home residents and direct care workers creating efficiencies that will hopefully ensure that even more resources are provided at a resident’s bedside, where they are needed the most, while continuing to make certain that Pennsylvania’s seniors and individuals with disabilities continue to receive quality care.

“The current funding shortfall in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program continues to be the single biggest challenge facing Pennsylvania’s nursing homes and the residents for whom they care. Based on current Medicaid reimbursement levels, nursing homes are paid over $25.43 per day less than their actual costs of providing care. That’s a funding shortfall of $9,300 annually, on average, for every Medicaid resident in their care. As the commonwealth works to ensure high quality, person centered care for a rapidly aging population, a sustainable solution for the Medicaid funding shortfall will be essential. ”

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