PARCR - Posts Tagged with "Long Term Care"

Spring Tidbits April, 2016

4/4/2016 - PARCR Admin

Anne Henry, Senior Vice President and Chief Government Affairs Officer, attended the 2016 LeadingAge PEAK Leadership Conference in Washington, DC in March.

On March 15, LeadingAge PA advocated for the following items when meeting on Capitol Hill with Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation:

  1. Quality

The basis of the current nursing facility oversight process was enacted nearly 30 years ago when the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA ’87) became law. LeadingAge PA asked Congress to enact legislation to direct the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to reexamine the effectiveness of the present nursing facility oversight process in ensuring excellence.

  1. Hospital Observation Days

Changes to Medicare policy for hospitals regarding short inpatient stays have encouraged hospitals to keep people in “observation” rather than admitting them as inpatients.

LeadingAge PA asked Congress to legislatively correct this problem so that all overnight stays in hospitals count toward the three-day stay requirement so that seniors can once again have their qualifying nursing facility stay paid for by Medicare. The Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2015 (H.R. 1571/S. 843) would create a full and enduring solution by requiring all overnight stays that Medicare beneficiaries spend in the hospital to count towards meeting the three-day prior inpatient stay.

  1. Medicare Value Based Purchasing

In 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act was passed into law which provides an incentive to nursing facilities who provide the quality care needed to reduce re-hospitalization is already in place. This Value Based Payment incentive will reduce SNF reimbursement by 2% but then allow for some of the funding to be regained if they produce the required quality outcomes.

LeadingAge PA asked Congress to oppose H.R. 3298 as written.

  1. Home and Community Based Services

LeadingAge PA supports S. 192, sponsored by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), already passed by the Senate, which would reauthorize the Older Americans Act. It is currently in the House Committee on Education and Workforce.

LeadingAge PA asked for support of S 192, which would reauthorize the Older Americans Act and to ask the House to bring it to a vote. Fund the OAA program at levels sufficient to meet the needs of our growing senior population.

  1. Senior Housing under Section 202 and Section 8

Affordable housing must be preserved, funded and expanded sufficiently in order to maintain safe residences where seniors can live and age successfully in the place they call home.

Request from LeadingAge PA–Support at least the $505 million the Department of Housing and Urban Development requested for Section 202 for fiscal 2017.This amount will fully fund 12-month renewals of all project rental assistance contracts; so that we do not lose the housing we have in place. It also includes $75 million to renew all service coordinator/congregate housing services grants.

Governor Wolf raises minimum wage for state employees

On Monday, March 7, Governor Wolf signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for Pennsylvania state workers under his jurisdiction and employees working on future state contracts from $7.25 to $10.15 an hour. The governor said the effect will be limited and the order will raise the wages of about 450 out of approximately 79,000 state workers under his jurisdiction. At the press conference the governor said the executive order does not affect human service providers at this time.

Housing Aging Hearing on Assisted Living Residences

Anne Henry, LeadingAge PA’s senior vice president and chief government affairs officer, testified before the House Aging Committee on February 10, 2016 regarding barriers to the development of Assisted Living Residences (ALRs) in the commonwealth. Henry emphasized barriers such as physical plant requirements and the high licensing fees that have so far limited the development of a significant number of assisted living residences as well as barriers that limit individuals residing in ALRs to truly age in place.

LeadingAge PA Updates on Budget, Community HealthChoices and Advocacy

On March 9, 2016 Anne Henry, Senior Vice President and Chief Government Affairs Officer and Ana Puig, Director of Legislative Affairs presented a Regional Member Interchange at Granite Farms Estate on Budget Status FY 2015-2016 & 2016-2017, Community HealthChoices Update and Advocacy and You! It is being planned to have this Power Point presentation put on the PARCR website.

LeadingAge PA Thanks Governor Wolf on his 2016-2017 Budget for Long Term Care

On February 18, 2016 Ron Barth, President /CEO of LeadingAge PA sent a letter to Governor Wolf, thanking him on behalf of the members of LeadingAge PA for the support that the state fiscal year 2016-2017 Executive Budget shows for older Pennsylvanians

Governor Allows Balance of 2015-2016 Budget to Become Law without his Signature

On Wednesday, March 23, Governor Wolf held a press conference to announce that he will let the remainder of the Pennsylvania budget sent to him by the General Assembly become law without his signature. He will, however, veto the fiscal code that includes some funding wishes of the General Assembly. The final 2015-2016 budget did not include the expansion of sales tax on long-term services and supports as proposed by the governor. All eyes are on how negotiations will progress on the 2016- 2017 budget.

Read more...

February Tidbits

2/21/2017 - PARCR Admin

LeadingAge PA reported the following information the day that Governor Wolf announced his fiscal year 2017-2018 budget proposal.

On February 7, 2017, Governor Wolf announced his proposed budget for state fiscal year 2017-2018 before a joint session of the General Assembly. The Governor started by discussing a number of issues that he touted as successes for Pennsylvania during his two years as Governor. These issues include reform of the liquor control system, passage of the medical marijuana law, addressing the underfunding of the school system, increasing funds to fight the opioid epidemic and the creation of 82,000 more jobs in Pennsylvania than before his tenure.

The Governor then went on to say that there is still more work to be done if Pennsylvania is to close the structural deficit, but he claimed that solutions must be responsible and put schools and seniors first. In his efforts to put schools first, the Governor proposed $125M additional funding for all levels of education. The Governor also stated that through efficiencies his $32.3 billion proposal includes savings of more than $2 billion - although the details on the savings are difficult to determine at this point.

As for the Governor's claim that he is putting seniors first, it is difficult to unravel as the Governor's budget proposal merges the funding of the Departments of Aging, Health, Human Services and Drug & Alcohol Programs. For our nursing facility members, the Long Term Care Line Item is merged with most if not all of what had previously been Department of Aging Programs. This merging of numbers makes it difficult at this point to determine exactly what the numbers might mean. That said, it does not appear that the Governor included a rate increase in his proposal.

What is apparent is that the Long Term Care or "Nursing Facility" line item will over time become the Community HealthChoices line item. Moneys from the Aging Waiver as well as the other home and community-based waivers that serve individuals with physical disabilities have been moved from individual line items into long term care for community health choices.

For our LIFE providers, an additional $7 million in state funds is included in the Governor's proposal to serve an additional 600 individuals plus $7.1 million to expand the program to an additional nine counties.

LeadingAge PA will provide further information on the specifics of the Governor's proposal as they become available.

Read a Message from Ron Barth, President and CEO of LeadingAge PA.

Read more...

Leading Age Member Alert

5/17/2020 - PARCR Admin

PA Senate passed SB 1122 for $507 million support for long-term care. Since the bill now goes to the house for consideration, PARCR needs your help to contact your state house member to advocate for this critical funding.

Please follow this link to read a statement from Adam Marles, President and CEO of LeadingAge PA with specific information about this bill.

See below for LeadingAge PA's response to the Senate Bill.

Thank you for your assistance in this very critical matter.

PA Senate passes bill for $507 million support for long-term care

Late this afternoon (May 12, 2020), the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 1122, providing $507 million dollars in emergency funding support for COVID-19 response to long-term care providers across the Commonwealth. LeadingAge PA has advocated strongly for significant funding for weeks, and we are excited to announce this outcome. The package includes:

  • $449 million for long-term care
  • $50 million for Community HealthChoices
  • $8 million for LIFE programs

This is a great victory, but we still need your advocacy!

The legislation now goes to the state House for consideration, so please reach out to your state representatives to advocate for this critical funding. Let them know all nursing facilities need this support. There are proposals circulating that would allocate funds based on Medical Assistance utilization by days—this would result in our membership receiving tens of millions of dollars less than if funding is allocated equally by licensed beds across the state.

The LeadingAge PA team is also working to make sure that personal care homes and assisted living residences receive a portion of the funding, so please reiterate that point with your representatives.

Finally, though funding is our immediate reason for reaching out, immunity from civil liability remains a priority and focus. Expect to see more from LeadingAge PA on that issue in the next couple of days.

Please reach out with any questions and continue to let us know how we can support you.

As always, thank you for all that you do for our older adults and those who care for them.

Read more...

Member Alert

6/2/2020 - PARCR Admin

Member Alert: PA House and Senate came to consensus and passed funding bills May 28, 2020

The Pennsylvania House and Senate came to consensus and passed a number of funding bills late in the evening of 5-28-2020.

Emergency CARES Act Funding for the Continuum of Long-Term Care Providers Thanks to the advocacy of our members and the diligent efforts of LeadingAge PA, a $2.6 billion funding package (SB1108 appropriating and HB2510 allocating the same funding) was passed in both the PA House and Senate.

We battled for nursing facility funding that would direct funding to all nursing facilities statewide. As a result of your advocacy and engagement, the bills currently awaiting the governor’s signature will send approximately $3 million more to LeadingAge PA members than if the alternative formula being pushed was enacted. The allocation of funding from the commonwealth to all nursing facilities is the first of its kind and the direct product of LeadingAge PA advocacy. All funding will be distributed through the Department of Human Services, with the timing to be determined.

The funding breakdown supporting the long-term care continuum includes:

  • $245 million directly to nursing homes
  • $140 million for personal assistance services in the Medical Assistance program
  • $50 million directly to personal care homes and assisted living residences, with a small enhancement for personal care homes serving SSI residents
  • $13 million for adult day care services provided under the Medical Assistance program
  • $10 million for LIFE Program providers
  • $175 million for Regional response health collaboratives to enhance testing capability, infection control consultation, and clinical care and telemedicine within nursing homes, personal care homes, and assisted living residences *$150 million for Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency Rental Assistance Grants

State Budget Passage A five-month interim budget (HB2387) was approved by both the PA House and Senate yesterday, sending the agreed-upon partial year budget to the governor’s office to finalize. Because of uncertain revenues and expenses forthcoming with the COVID-19 pandemic plaguing the economy, the legislature will return to finish the fiscal year’s budget in November. The current partial budget is status quo and contains flat-funding for nursing facility Medical Assistance rates.

We continue to advocate and build relationships supporting a rate increase for Medical Assistance nursing facility rates to begin addressing the per diem gap between reimbursement and cost of care. We encourage you to reach out to your members of the PA House and Senate over the summer to tell your story about the safety net services you provide and the Medical Assistance shortfall.

If you have questions about the budget or emergency CARES Act funding, please reach out to Anne Henry(ahenry@leadingagepa.org) or Georgia Goodman (ggoodman@leadingagepa.org).

Read more...