As your association, we work for you to provide the strategic information and senior living advocacy you need to deliver high-performing services - whether it's offering educational opportunities so you can fulfill your mission, identifying key issues that impact you and your residents or collaborating with other organizations to better serve older adults.


Budget for the 2018 / 2019 State Fiscal Year

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 nine 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 getting a 1 percent increase in Medical Assistance funding for nursing facilities in CHC Phase 3 included in the budget. The Nonpublic Medical Assistance Day One Incentive Payment continues to be funded at $8MM of state funds.

Additionally, the Human Services Code that passed along with the budget includes language that would require the  Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide information on the Living Independence for the Elderly (LIFE) program when individuals are choosing their medical assistance, long-term care and service benefits.

Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act

The Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act, HB 2291, was introduced when DHS Personal Care Home surveyors entered the independent living section of a LeadingAge PA member Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and started to question the seniors living there about services they were receiving. After doing so, DHS demanded that a number of seniors move immediately to personal care and the CCRC cease and desist operating and illegal Personal Care Home in their independent living division.

HB 2291 would modify the definition of Personal Care Homes to protect the privacy and independence of individuals living in independent living settings. The bill has been a priority of LeadingAge PA. Representatives from LeadingAge PA and a member facility were invited to attend and testify at a House Aging Committee informational hearing on this bill. Their testimony can be found here. An overview of CCRC structure, available services, privacies maintained and residents agreements made a strong case for the bill. The education helped members of the House Aging Committee better understand how prior circumstances and actions by DHS have led to the ensuing legislation and how it is necessary to protect the independence and rights of seniors living independently.

After implementing an amendment that LeadingAge PA has agreed to, the House Aging Committee met on June 22, 2018, and voted the bill out of committee, with only one negative vote. LeadingAge PA continues to work on this bill with the General Assembly. We'd like to offer a big thank-you to all of our members who have discussed this important legislation with their elected members of the General Assembly.

In addition to activities in the House, The Senate has also taken an interest. Senators White and Ward have circulated a co-sponsorship memo for companion legislation in the Senate

Regulations & Policy

Recent LeadingAge PA Comments & Actions

LeadingAge PA offered comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the proposed Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) contained in the Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System proposed rule. CMS proposed replacing the RUG-IV system with PDPM beginning October 1, 2019. You can access LeadingAge PA's comments here.

 

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