On Friday, July 8, Pennsylvania’s General Assembly reaffirmed their commitment to long-term care providers, workers, residents and families by emphatically answering the question we asked for months: “Who Will Care?”
In approving this year’s state budget, Governor Tom Wolf and members of the House and Senate - both Republicans and Democrats - made a historic investment in the long-term care continuum, including:
a 17.5% Medicaid rate increase for nursing homes, which translates to an approximate $35 more per resident per Medicaid day. This is the first Medicaid rate increase in Pennsylvania since 2014, and the largest increase in the modern payment era.
$131 million in American Rescue Plan stimulus funds for nursing homes;
$26.7 million in American Rescue Plan stimulus funds for assisted living communities and personal care homes;
$16 million in Medicaid Day One Incentive (MDOI) payments for high-Medicaid nursing homes, which will generate a $17 million federal match;
$4.2 million in American Rescue Plan stimulus funds for nursing homes serving a high number of residents on ventilators;
and a $20 million increase to SSI rates for personal care homes.
While this historic investment will certainly support resident care by allowing long-term care providers to continue providing and invest in their current workforce, it’s important to note that not a single dollar of funding approved in the state budget has been distributed.
Medicaid increases will not take effect until January 2023, and we are still weeks away from ARPA funds being allocated. In fact, the full weight of this historic investment – to the tune of $600 million won’t fully be realized until next July. Until then, those same providers across Pennsylvania will still be operating day-to-day, hoping to strike the balance between investments in caregivers and preserving the care they provide.
Make no mistake: your advocacy for long-term care helped deliver an investment that will impact care for years to come. We ask for your continued support as we work to further advance this critical service relied upon by tens of thousands of seniors and adults with disabilities.
Show your support today by thanking a long-term care worker and letting them know all they have done and continue to do for our loved ones and neighbors is appreciated. Community support for long-term care workers will help us with workforce retention efforts.
Furthermore, continue to follow along with our #WhoWillCare campaign as we continue to advocate for change that will improve long-term care.