Senator Ward Comments
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s long-term care homes face a Medicaid funding crisis that threatens to reduce access for our neediest residents, Sen. Judy Ward (R-30) said Tuesday.
Ward joined Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-194) and LeadingAgePA to discuss a recent report that highlights the negative impact that inadequate Medicaid reimbursement levels have on long-term care facilities’ ability to remain operational.
“At a Medicaid deficit of over $80 a day per resident, our long-term care facilities cannot wait much longer for relief,” Ward said. “If this unsustainable trend continues these facilities may be forced to cut staff, remove beds, or even worse, close down all together.”
That’s why Ward supports LeadingAgePA’s request for an additional $294 million in the state’s 2022-23 budget to help reduce Medicaid nursing facility rates so that long-term care homes can focus on attracting a quality workforce and provide services to those in need.
Ward is also drafting legislation that would direct the Joint State Government Commission to study the rising cost of long-term care facility personnel, the expertise and experience needed to work in those facilities, the current work environment for those employed and the level of care required by residents.
“Our long-term care facilities need help,” Ward said. “My hope is that my legislation is a step in that direction.”
Ward said her experience as a registered nurse instilled her with a strong passion and commitment to ensure long-term care facilities, like the one where her own mother resides, receive the necessary funding to guarantee all residents have proper care.
“I understand the hardships that staff go through every day to care for their residents,” she said. “I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate and House on legislation to provide this much-needed relief to this critical industry.”
CONTACT: Nathan Akers, 717-787-5490