July 23, 2019
Contact: Michael Rodriguez, 717-618-2142

PHCA Statement Regarding Auditor General’s Report on Nursing Home Care and Oversight

Report reinforces the need for a renewed focus on Medicaid reimbursement, oversight and workforce development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2019

PHCA STATEMENT REGARDING AUDITOR GENERAL’S REPORT ON NURSING HOME CARE AND OVERSIGHT

Report reinforces the need for a renewed focus on Medicaid reimbursement, oversight and workforce development

HARRISBURG — Zach Shamberg, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA), issued the following statement regarding the follow-up report on nursing home care and oversight by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale:

“Earlier today, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale asked the same question that nursing home operators, providers and staff have been asking for the last few years: ‘Who will care for our aging population?’

“As the fourth-oldest state in the country, Pennsylvania finds itself at a unique crossroads. More than 80,000 Pennsylvania residents and their families rely on nursing homes to provide quality of life and compassionate care, and our fastest growing demographic is 85 years of age and older. Sadly, despite an increase in the number of residents requiring assistance with clinically complex medical conditions, there are fewer direct care workers pursuing a career in long-term care than ever before.

“This report reinforces our belief that nursing home providers, legislators and regulators must work together to ensure our long-term care continuum is able to provide high quality care to older Pennsylvanians for years to come.

“A perfect example is the most recent budget crafted by the administration and lawmakers. That budget contains $16 million for the Medicaid Day One Incentive (MDOI) program, which aids nursing homes caring for a higher percentage of residents on Medicaid. This increase represents, for the first time since 2014, a real acknowledgment from state government that our long-term care system is severely underfunded. But there is still so much more we need to do to shore up our long-term care continuum.

“The Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) has continually fought for higher Medicaid reimbursement, a more favorable legal and regulatory environment, and workforce training programs. Without each of these key components, the next few years will only result in more and more long-term care providers selling their facilities, changing ownership or closing their doors altogether.

“We want to thank Auditor General DePasquale and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine for compiling this report and focusing their attention on this critical issue. We look forward to working with them to support Pennsylvania’s long-term care residents, staff and providers of care.”

“For the first time in a long time, it appears that providers and state officials agree on the problem. Let’s focus now on finding the solution.”

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