PA State Government Changes
In November, many faces changed in the Pennsylvania state agencies that effect the members of LeadingAge PA. The Department of Health (DOH) now has a new Acting Secretary Rachel Levine who also serves as the Physician General. DOH has a new Acting Executive Deputy Secretary Sarah Boateng, and Acting Deputy Secretary for Quality Assurance Nancy Lescavage. Acting Deputy Lescavage oversees licensure of healthcare facilities including nursing facilities, home health care agencies and home care agencies.
The Department of Human Services has ushered two individuals into new roles. Teresa Miller is serving as Acting Secretary. She was formerly the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance. The Acting Executive Deputy Secretary Leesa Allen formerly served as the Deputy Secretary for Medical Assistance Programs. Jessica Altman has been tapped to serve as the Acting Commissioner of the Department of Insurance.
LeadingAge PA is meeting with these individuals to share the great care and services provided by our members.
On December 21, 2017 Susan C. Drabic Chair, LeadingAge PA Board of Directors issued the following letter:
Dear LeadingAge PA Members:
Ron Barth informed me of his intention to retire during 2018. The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of LeadingAge PA has met with Ron and is in full support of Ron’s decision. The LeadingAge PA Board of Directors will be conducting their regular December board meeting on December 6 and 7. During this meeting we will agree on our next steps in regard to acknowledging Ron’s years of service to the Association and planning the necessary actions to assure a smooth transition as the Association brings in a new President and CEO during 2018.
One of the first things I will do, as Chair, is appoint a search committee to be responsible for conducting a nationwide search for a new President and CEO. While Ron stated his intention to retire no later than December 31, 2018, the Executive Committee and I would prefer to have a replacement in place by the end of June 2018. It would be our hope and intention to introduce the new President and CEO to members at the annual conference in June and at the same time celebrate Ron Barth’s many contributions to LeadingAge PA over the past 27 years.
Blessings to all this special holiday season.
Susan C. Drabic
Chair, LeadingAge PA Board of Directors
On December 13, 2017 the following information was released:
POLST bill moves out of state Senate committee
On Tuesday, December 12th, LeadingAge PA contacted Senate Health and Human Services Committee members to urge support for Senator Yaw’s SB 623 prior to the POLST bill coming up for a vote in that committee. The committee unanimously supported the bill and voted it favorably out of committee. Companion legislation has been introduced by the third ranking republican in the House, Brian Cutler as House Bill 1196, which is currently awaiting a vote out of the House Health Committee. LeadingAge PA will continue to advocate for, and monitor the progress of POLST legislation as a valuable and dignifying tool to assure that older Pennsylvanians' individual desires for care are followed and granted.
December 21, 2017
DOH ramping up nursing facility state civil penalties
LeadingAge PA has learned that the Department of Health (DOH) has been reviewing a hundred or more nursing facility surveys in order to potentially assess state fines for deficiencies. Nursing facilities, having endured one of the most punitive survey environments in memory, noted a brief respite this fall from the surge in the assessment of state fines they experienced earlier in 2017. Unfortunately, the reprieve has been due less to a change in policy than to a pause while new leadership in DOH reviewed cases, and now, with many of the reviews completed, a significant increase in notifications of state fines is expected.
A listing of state fines and provisional licenses can be found here. LeadingAge PA monitors this list on a regular basis and will include information in our weekly Government Affairs News as this list is updated. Members are reminded to review this list as facilities have appeared on the list in error in the past.
If you receive notification of a state fine, experience a difficult survey, or face anything unusual with regard to survey and enforcement, please contact either Anne Henry, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-790-3949 or Beth Greenberg, email@example.com, 717-790-3945. We need to hear from you so that we can advocate on your behalf.