LeadingAge PA has released the following information about the Pennsylvania 2018-2019 Fiscal Year Budget with some positive news for nursing facilities and an update on The Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act, HB 2291
June is a very busy time in Harrisburg as the General Assembly works to pass a timely state budget for the new fiscal year which begins July 1. The $32.7B spending plan actually made it to the Governor’s desk, and was signed, with eight days to spare.
For the first time in four years there is some positive news for nursing facilities. Through the advocacy of LeadingAge PA, both the members and Government Affairs team, we were successful in having a 1% increase for Medical Assistance funding for nursing facilities included. The Nonpublic Medical Assistance Day-One Incentive Payment continues to be funded at $8M of state funds.
Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act
The Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act, HB 2291 was introduced when Department of Human Services (DHS) Personal Care Home surveyors entered the independent living of a LeadingAge PA member CCRC and started to question the seniors living there about services they were receiving. After doing so, DHS demanded that a number of seniors immediately move to personal care and that the CCRC cease and desist operating an illegal Personal Care Home in their independent living.
HB 2291 would modify the definition of personal care homes to protect the privacy and independence of individuals living in independent living settings. This bill has been a priority of LeadingAge PA. On Wednesday, June 20, Anne Henry, Sr. VP and Chief Government Affairs Officer of LeadingAge PA and Mr. John Dickson, President and CEO of Redstone Presbyterian SeniorCare testified before the House Aging Committee during an informational hearing on this bill. You can view their testimony by clicking the link on their names above.
The House Aging Committee met on June 22 after amending the bill with an amendment that LeadingAge PA has agreed to, voted the bill out of committee with only 1 negative vote. LeadingAge PA will be working on this bill with the General Assembly this fall. A big thank you to all of our members who have discussed this important legislation with their elected members of the General Assembly.