CARIE extends a heartfelt thanks to all who supported our advocacy effort to update Pennsylvania’s nursing facility regulations for the first time in 25 years!  The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) unanimously approved all four packages of the final form nursing home regulations on October 28, 2022.  While we had hoped the final form regulations would have included stronger resident rights provisions, higher staffing minimums, and greater staff training especially around dementia capable care, the regulations are an important step toward needed change in current policies to improve the standard of care in Pennsylvania’s nursing homes. The updated regulations strengthen the current regulations especially around change in ownership and the application process for a license and increases transparency. The change in ownership provisions will give the Department of Health the ability to help prevent poor performing providers and bad actors from buying and operating more facilities in Pennsylvania. Some examples of improvement include:

  • An increase in staffing requirements
  • Increased protections for residents regarding facilities closures
  • Increased requirements regarding proof of financial responsibility
  • Increased notice and opportunity for public comment regarding applications for licensure
  • Recognizes residents’ right to care without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression
  • Increased requirements for availability of social workers
  • Inclusion of residents and their representatives in the facility’s development of policies and procedures relating to residents’ rights

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