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"Underwhelmed and disappointed." Long-term care providers lament Governor's budget



Harrisburg, PA — Flat state funding is a major concern for Pennsylvania nursing homes that are battling rising costs and a declining workforce.


“We were underwhelmed and disappointed as a long-term care sector,” said Zach Shamberg, President of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association.


In Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal, no new money was allocated to nursing home providers, residents or workers. In just three years, labor costs have ballooned by 20 percent while inflation is driving up the cost of every product associated with the state’s 700 nursing homes.


With the population of people 85 and older expected to double by 2040, advocates believe the time to act is now.


“The answer at the end of the day is investment and it’s recurring investment. It's recurring investment in the state's Medicaid program so that providers can not only keep their operations day-to-day, but invest. Invest in their staff. Invest in the residents,” Shamberg said.


Last year, legislators approved a Medicaid reimbursement increase for the first time in nearly a decade.


In a perfect world, the PHCA hopes to work with the new Governor and legislators to find a constant, yearly funding source to help nursing homes survive.


This story first appeared on CBS21.


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