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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 7, 2022 04:50 PM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: Assisted Living Residences
In 2007, the General Assembly in codified Act 56 to include Assisted Living Residences as a licensed and regulated setting for seniors needing 24/7 oversight, but not the level of care and services provided in Personal Care Homes or a Skilled Nursing Facility. In the Act, the General Assembly finds and declares the following:
  • Assisted living residences are a significant long-term care alternative nationwide.
  • Assisted living residences are a combination of housing and supportive services, as needed. They are widely accepted by the general public because they allow people to age in place, maintain their independence and exercise decision making and personal choice.
  • It is in the best interest of all Pennsylvanians that a system of licensure and regulation be established for assisted living residences in order to ensure accountability and a balance of availability between institutional and home-based and community-based long-term care for adults who need such care.

When legislation authorizing Assisted Living Residences (ALRs) as a licensed model of care in Pennsylvania was enacted, the Department of Human Services’ Office of Long-Term Living projected that between new construction and existing Personal Care Homes (PCHs) changing their facilities into ALRs, there would be over 300 licensed ALRs in operation by FY 2014-2015. As of January 2022, there are only 65 licensed residences.
Several factors have prohibited and/or dissuaded current PCH providers from making this transition, including the physical site requirements set forth in the ALR regulations and the lack of intended Medical Assistance coverage, both of which my legislation seeks to address.
Act 56 of 2007 sought to ensure that this level of care is funded by the state’s Medicaid program and therefore an available option in the commonwealth’s long-term services and supports program known as Community HealthChoices.  With my legislation, Pennsylvania will finally offer the full array of facility-based options to our state’s seniors.  My legislation also enables PCHs interested in converting to ALRs to do so consistent with the intent of the Act by removing unnecessary and unintended impediments to their successful conversion.
My hope is to promote and improve the availability of and access to ALRs as an age-in-place, residential care, and supportive option for those seniors who may need more care than can be provided in a personal care home, but do not yet require the around-the-clock care of a skilled nursing facility.  My legislation will mirror the provisions included in House Bill 1442 of the 2019-2020 session.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB1198