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 2020 / 2021 State Fiscal Year

Spring 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.

LeadingAge PA spent a number of months developing a Quality Incentive Program that will reward nursing homes for better staffing, better utilization of state Medical Assistance funds and better quality measures. This initiative was presented to the Wolf Administration as a proposed program to be included in the governor's Executive Budget that was announced on February 4, 2020. Unfortunately, for the sixth straight year, the Executive Budget did not include any rate increase for nursing homes.

Until the budget is finalized by the legislature and the governor, we are working diligently on strategies to obtain not only $17 million in new state funding for our proposed Quality Incentive Program, but also a 2% rate increase for both nursing homes and LIFE programs. A rate increase for LIFE programs would be a modest return to the rates they were reimbursed prior to 2009 when they were reduced by 5%, where they have been held since.

Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act

The need for this legislation arose from an incident when representatives from the Department of Human Services canvased independent living apartments and questioned residents about their care needs. LeadingAge PA is actively working with Representative Eric Nelson (R-Westmoreland) to revise the language of House Bill 2291 from the last legislative session. The new language is intended to offer some protections for both independent living providers and residents. Once the co-sponsor memo is available, we will ask LeadingAge PA members  to contact your members of the State House and request they sign on as co-sponsors of this legislation.

Older Adult Protective Services Act (OAPSA)

We have been hard at work advocating for changes to the Older Adult Protective Services Act (OAPSA). The changes we are proposing would balance protections for seniors, ensure workers are not subject to numerous new criminal history background checks and prevent providers from being burdened with costly administrative processes.

Revisions to OAPSA are needed since multiple appellate court decisions have rendered parts of the existing law unconstitutional. Currently, there are two bills in the General Assembly aimed at fixing the law.

In the Senate, Senator Robert Mensch (R-Lehigh) has introduced SB819, while in the House, Representative Tim Hennessey (R-Montgomery) has introduced HB1930. Both bills contain provisions for prohibited offenses and time frames under which an applicant cannot be hired.

SB819 has passed the Senate and now sits in the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee. LeadingAge PA opposes this bill and has asked the House to not take it up. HB1930 is more favorable, in its current form.  In November and December 2019, the bill was twice scheduled for a vote out of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee with amendments that would have been disadvantageous for our members. Working in coalition with other long-term care and service provider associations, we were able to stop this bill from being voted on both times. We continue to work with the House Aging Committee, the Governor's Office, and the Department of Aging on language that we can agree upon.

Regulations & Policy

Recent LeadingAge PA Comments & Actions

LeadingAge PA submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR) on January 23, 2020 deadline. The proposed regulation includes subjective criteria by which some financing programs affecting Medicaid long term care would be approved. These criteria could serve to upset the delicate balance of Medicaid funded programs in Pennsylvania.

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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