COVID-19 Advocacy

Advocacy Alert – Improve Pennsylvania’s Nursing Home Regulations
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) released its fourth and final package of proposed nursing home regulationsThere is a 30-day public comment period starting on May 28, 2022 and ending on June 27, 2022.   Advocacy information will be posted here soon.  (Read below for regulation related advocacy efforts to date.)

CARIE and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia have been advocating for critical COVID-19 related policy change in Pennsylvania’s Long Term Care (LTC) facilities and have organized “PA Advocates for Improved COVID-19 Response in LTC Facilities” to coordinate advocacy efforts among leading advocacy groups in Pennsylvania in response to the crisis. Please read our call to action, Immediate Actions Pennsylvania Must Take to Address the COVID-19 Crisis in Long-Term Care Facilities, that includes over three dozen recommendations.  An Executive Summary, Recommendations Chart and a Combined Position Paper are also available for review.

Advocacy Addressing Racial Disparities in Long Term Care Facilities

Pennsylvania (PA) Nursing Facility Regulations Advocacy
Updates to PA’s nursing home regulations are needed now more than ever.  These regulations have not been updated since the 1990s.  The PA Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for inspecting nursing homes and ensuring facilities meet both federal and state standards.  COVID-19 has shone a bright light on the problems that currently exist in the outdated regulations.  Some provisions do not meet current best practices, while others do not comply with current minimum federal nursing facility regulations.

The PA DOH released the first of four packages of proposed nursing home regulations with comments due by August 30, 2021.  Here are the comments we submitted.  The PA DOH released the second package of proposed nursing home regulations with comments due November 8, 2021.  Here are the comments we submitted.  The PA DOH released the third package of proposed nursing home regulations with comments due April 18, 2022.  Here are the comments we submitted.

To encourage DOH to update these regulations, CARIE, Community Legal Services, David Hoffman & Associates, Disability Rights Network, PA Health Law Project, and the SeniorLAW Center wrote to Secretary Levine and other state officials in November 2020 with recommendations to improve the regulations.  We plan to continue to advocate for these needed changes as the regulations are revised.

Recommendations to Improve Pennsylvania’s Nursing Facility Regulations:

Webinar on Private Equity Ownership in Nursing Homes: Poor Quality Care & Lack of Transparency

CARIE hosted a webinar, Private Equity Investors as Nursing Home Owners: Impact on Quality of Resident Care and Lack of Accountability, on February 3, 2022.  The goal is to help inform policymakers, regulators, and advocates in Pennsylvania about the complex business practices private equity investors use to profit from nursing home ownership and the hidden ways they divert funds for resident care for their personal gain.  Please view the webinar recording and slides to learn more about this complex issue.

Other advocacy includes: