Pennsylvania Nursing Facility Regulations Advocacy Success!
On September 27, the Department of Health released the final-form regulations for all four proposed packages. CARIE created an Advocacy Alert and submitted comments that were also presented at the Independent Regulatory Review Commission’s (IRRC) public meeting on October 28, 2022 where all four packages were unanimously approved. Thanks to all who helped with our advocacy effort! Read our news item for more information.
Go directly to PA nursing home regulation related advocacy efforts for more information.
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
- Separate and Unconscionable: A Report on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pennsylvania’s Nursing Homes with Recommendations for Immediate Action, Executive Summary and Summary Table of Recommendations (Released 8/4/21)
- PCA 2022 Conference on Aging Workshop Slides – Separate & Unconscionable: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pennsylvania’s Nursing Homes (9/22/22)
- Joint testimony for the House Aging & Older Adult Services Committee hearing on vaccines in long term care facilities (3/10/21)
- Letter to state officials with vaccine recommendations (Sent 3/8/21)
- Letter to state officials with data collection and analysis recommendations (Sent 3/5/21)
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 COVID-19 has shone a bright light on the problems that currently exist in the outdated regulations.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. The PA DOH released its fourth and final package of proposed nursing home regulations with comments due June 27, 2022. Here are our submitted comments for package 4. Our Advocacy Alert included information to submit comments. CARIE also worked with Resident Council Presidents to develop this flyer to engage residents in this advocacy effort. On September 27, DOH released the final-form regulations for all four proposed packages. CARIE created an Advocacy Alert and submitted comments that were also presented at IRRC’s public meeting on October 28, 2022 where all four packages were unanimously approved. Thanks to all who helped with our advocacy effort! Read our news item for more information.
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:
- Cover letter that summarizes our recommendations (Sent 11/23/2020)
- Recommendations in a track-changes, marked up version of the existing regulations
- Combined cover letter/summary and recommendations
- AARP PA’s Letter of Support
- Delaware Valley and Greater Pennsylvania Chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Letter of Support
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:
- Issue brief – Urgent Call to Action – Recommendations to Mitigate Crisis of Prolonged Isolation in LTC Facilities
- Letter sent to Governor Wolf and others requesting a rapid Targeted Response to COVID-19 in Long Term Care Facilities
- Letter requesting a Moratorium on Involuntary Nursing Home Discharges sent to officials at the Department of Health and others