LeadingAge PA member survey: 96% increase starting wages in wake of 2022-23 Medicaid increase, but workforce and funding crisis continues
More than half of member nursing homes continue to turn down residents due to worker shortage and funding gap
$99 million Medicaid increase needed in 2023-24 budget
7 of 10 PA nursing home residents rely on Medicaid
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (April 24, 2023) – Despite a 17.5% Medicaid increase last year, Pennsylvania’s nonprofit nursing homes remain historically underfunded, leading to a workforce and funding crisis that has forced a majority of homes surveyed to turn down residents in a state where seven out of every 10 residents rely solely on Medicaid funding. To help remedy this, LeadingAge PA is calling for a $99 million investment (5% increase) in Medicaid funding in the 2023-2024 state budget.
“Nearly 100% of respondents indicated they’ve raised starting wages since last year’s Medicaid funding increase was announced, but they’re still having trouble hiring workers,” said LeadingAge PA President and CEO Garry Pezzano. “This worker shortage crisis and historic Medicaid underfunding are the leading causes for why mission-driven providers are turning away hospital admissions and nursing home beds are left unfilled across the Commonwealth.”
Last year’s funding increase was an important step in the right direction. However, Medicaid had been flat funded for nearly a decade. This chronic underfunding, coupled with pandemic costs and current high inflation, has led to costs reaching an all-time high.
“We must recognize the ongoing, crippling financial pressures that long-term care providers face by increasing Medicaid funding to help nursing homes hire more workers, meet increased staffing requirements, and keep up with inflation,” Pezzano said. “Fortunately, we can continue building on last year’s investment during this budget cycle. LeadingAge PA looks forward to working with the Shapiro administration and the General Assembly to do just that. If we don’t, high-quality nursing homes will continue to turn down hospital admissions and the number of empty beds will only increase, leaving many Pennsylvanians without the care they need.”
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About LeadingAge PA
LeadingAge PA is a trade association representing 370+ high-quality senior housing, health care and community services across the commonwealth. These providers serve more than 75,000 older Pennsylvanians and employ over 50,000 dedicated caregivers on a daily basis. Services our members offer include Life Plan Communities/Continuing Care Retirement Communities, skilled nursing communities, assisted living residences, personal care homes, and affordable senior housing. LeadingAge PA advocates on behalf of our members at the state and local levels to influence positive change and affect a healthy vision for the delivery of quality, affordable and ethical care for Pennsylvania’s seniors. For more information, visit www.LeadingAgePA.org.
La Torre Communications for LeadingAge PA
David La Torre