|Posted:||April 19, 2022 11:01 AM|
|From:||Senator Maria Collett and Sen. Nikil Saval|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Nursing Home Resident Protections|
Perhaps no other group of Pennsylvanians stood a greater collective risk to the threats of COVID-19 than the residents of our nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Due in no small part to the heroic efforts of the staff of these facilities and the more than $540 million investment of financial resources from the general assembly since March 2020, providers in Pennsylvania were able to stem the tide of the virus. Today, nearly 90% of residents are fully vaccinated and visitation for residents has fully reopened.
As a nurse who has worked in long-term care settings, Senator Collett knows how incredibly difficult a task it is to deliver high-quality care in under-resourced environments. With ongoing efforts to improve bedside care for nursing home residents, providers have consistently stated they don’t have the funding necessary to meet their current needs. Indeed, state Medicaid funding makes up roughly 60% or more of providers’ overall funding, and they haven’t seen a significant increase in funding since 2014.
The time for an honest, transparent, and public conversation about funding our long-term care industry is long overdue. To prioritize resident care and protections as we move forward with this discussion, we will introduce the below package of legislation.
Please join us in sponsoring these bills, which will work together to improve quality for nursing home residents and drive efficiency in taxpayer spending.
|Description:||Consolidated Financial Reporting
In order to properly understand the cost challenges facing providers, this legislation will require consolidated financial reports for licensed operators and their related business entities to be submitted annually to providers’ licensing departments. Similar policies have been enacted in Florida, Virginia, and California.
|Description:||Targeting the Use of State Funding to Bedside Care
Following the lead of New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts which have all enacted similar laws, this legislation will require a minimum of 75% of all taxpayer appropriations for skilled nursing facilities to fund direct resident care at the bedside.
|Description:||Ownership Transparency Requirements
In order to help both the Commonwealth and the public understand who is operating the facilities that older Pennsylvanians depend on for around the clock care, this legislation will require complete ownership information for each individual or entity that owns more than the minimum reporting threshold established within the bill of the operating, parent, or related businesses of the skilled nursing facility.
When a nursing home operator decides to cease operations in the Commonwealth, state agencies and stakeholders rally to help identify opportunities to sell or transfer operations to another entity in order to preserve care and available beds for future residents. The Commonwealth has a duty to ensure that the licensed operator, and any controlling interests of the operator, have regular and current training on best practices in long-term care management and resident care. It also must ensure that bad actors are not able to continue operating facilities or diminish the opportunity for long-term care across the Commonwealth. This legislation will prohibit the licensure of facilities which have a majority or controlling interest in related businesses/parent companies that have a history of closing skilled nursing facilities in the Commonwealth or across the country—unless granted special relief from these requirements.