May 13, 2020
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PHCA Applauds State Senate For Directing Nearly $300 Million in Emergency Funding for Long-Term Care Providers

Critical emergency funding will help providers care for their residents, invest in frontline caregivers and purchase essential personal protective equipment to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

HARRISBURG, PA – Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA), released the following statement after the Pennsylvania State Senate passed Senate Bill 1122 yesterday, which included nearly $300 million in critical emergency funding to help long-term care providers cover skyrocketing costs related to the COVID-19 response, including increased costs for resident care, hazard pay and wage increases for staff, and costs for supplies and personal protective equipment:

“On behalf of long-term care providers, front line workers and the residents they serve, we greatly appreciate the leadership and work of Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, Majority Leader Jake Corman, Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne, Minority Leader Jay Costa, Minority Appropriations Chairman Vincent Hughes, and members of the state Senate for prioritizing Pennsylvania’s long-term care providers in Senate Bill 1122. 

“Yesterday, in a united, bipartisan effort, members of the Senate allocated $245 million in critical emergency funding to nursing homes and $50 million to assisted living residences and personal care homes as a direct response to the fight against COVID-19 in long-term care, which has become the epicenter of this epidemic.

“This is an important step in the legislative process, and we now look forward to working with members of the House of Representatives to ensure our most vulnerable residents receive the aid they need.

“After more than two months of uncertainty, the members of the Senate sent much-needed help to long-term care providers, workers and their residents. We thank them for their support.”

The critical emergency funding directed to long-term care providers by the state Senate comes weeks after PHCA sent a joint letter signed by LeadingAge PA; SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania; the National Union of Hospital & Health Care Employees, District 1199C, AFSCME, AFL-CIO; and UFCW 1776KS to Governor Tom Wolf back on March 23.

More than 500 long-term care facilities statewide have reported at least one case of COVID-19 and nearly 70% of all COVID-related deaths in Pennsylvania have occurred in long-term care.

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