PA’s long-term care crisis and how a push to increase Medicaid reimbursements could help

MM Curator summary

[MM Curator Summary]: PA is struggling to deal with a flailing long-term care workforce.


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Dauphin County, PA — Pennsylvania has lost nearly 20% of its long-term care workforce since the pandemic started two years ago, according to the Pennsylvania Health Care Association.

The Association reports 11 nursing homes have shut down, including two in recent weeks. Officials say this is creating an access to care crisis. Nursing home providers have been turning away 20 seniors per month on average since December.

It’s a concern with the state’s aging population in mind. The Health Management Associates performed an independent study recently, identifying more than 1.18 million Pennsylvanians will need long-term care over the next 20-30 years.

“If nursing homes, personal care homes and assisted living communities continue to lose workers, who will care for our aging population?” Pennsylvania Health Care Association President and CEO Zach Shamberg said.

“Throughout the state, nursing homes are turning away someone’s parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle because there aren’t enough workers to care for more people,” Senate Aging and Youth Committee Chairwoma Sen. Judy Ward continued.

The Pennsylvania Health Care Association and some legislators are calling for a $294 million increase in the state’s Medicaid reimbursement to sustain a future for long-term care. They also want American Rescue Plan funds to support recruitment and retention.

Medicaid reimbursement hasn’t been increased in the state since 2014 and the rate currently falls about $50 short per resident per day.


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