LeadingAge PA Member Survey: Continued funding and workforce shortage leads to 1 in 4 certified nursing home beds placed offline

By LeadingAge PA
April 3, 2024

Increased investment needed to alleviate access to care crisis for older Pennsylvanians


  • 1 in 4 certified nursing home beds are offline.
  • 48% have declined hospital referrals.
  • 93% would increase wages with a Medicaid increase.

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (April 3, 2024)—Pennsylvania’s nonprofit and mission-driven nursing homes remain historically underfunded, with nearly one in four certified nursing home beds offline due to inadequate Medicaid reimbursement and the ongoing workforce crisis, according to a new survey of LeadingAge PA members.

Despite having licensed beds available, nearly half (48%) have declined hospital referrals within the last two to three months due to staffing challenges and underfunding due to insufficient Medicaid reimbursement rates. If Medicaid funding was appropriately increased, 93% of respondents said their No. 1 priority would be to increase starting wages and wages for existing staff to combat the worker shortage.

To help its members better serve one of America’s fastest-growing aging populations with over 2.2 million seniors who are 65 and over, LeadingAge PA is advocating for a $70 million increase in Medicaid funding for nursing homes and a minimum $8.9 million, plus inflation, for Pennsylvania’s Living Independence for the Elderly, or LIFE, program in the upcoming 2024-25 state budget.

“Our survey is clear: in a state where 70% of older adults rely on Medicaid for their care, nursing home providers have taken nearly 25% of their beds offline due to inadequate reimbursement rates and a shortage of workers,” said LeadingAge PA President and CEO Garry Pezzano. “Our proposed increase in Medicaid funding would allow for nursing homes to hire more workers, retain the hardworking staff they employ and keep up with inflation. LeadingAge PA members strive to ensure all those who need care have access to high-quality services. We will continue our work with the Shapiro administration and General Assembly to make this happen.”


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About LeadingAge PA

LeadingAge PA is a trade association representing 400+ 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, LIFE providers, home and community-based services 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.


Media Contact:

La Torre Communications for LeadingAge PA

David La Torre