|Posted:||June 24, 2015 04:16 PM|
|From:||Representative Ed Gainey|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Nursing Home Accountability Act - NEW CO-SPONSOR MEMO|
|Please join me in sponsoring the Nursing Facility Accountability Act. The act will implement a living wage certification program for long-term care nursing facilities, imposing a penalty on nursing facilities with employees on Medical Assistance and other state funded public assistance programs; require nursing facilities to report certain information; and impose duties on the Department of Human Services and Department of Health.
The nursing facility industry is predominately taxpayer-funded through Medical Assistance and Medicare reimbursement. Our Commonwealth reimburses nursing facilities that participate in the Medical Assistance program at a level that is sufficient to pay its employees a living wage and not have to rely on public assistance programs.
According to the Department of Labor and Industry, the average wage for nurse assistants is $13.39 and the average wage for dietary and housekeeping employees is $9.81. According to PA Pathways, a wage of $15 per hour would meet the sufficiency standard for many, but not all, Pennsylvania counties for an employee with one child, meaning an employee can provide for her or his family without public assistance.
The legislation will create a Living Wage Certification program for nursing facilities that provide base hourly wages of $15 per hour for all of their directly employed and subcontracted employees.
The legislation will also ensure that nursing facilities pay a Nursing Facility Employer Responsibility Penalty for health coverage received by their employees through the Medical Assistance program and other public assistance programs that are fully or partially funded with state funds, and to base that penalty on the costs incurred by the state for providing these benefits to the nursing facilities’ employees.
Please contact me if you are interested in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as HB1449