PARCR - Posts Tagged with "Privacy"

Budget and More

7/5/2018 - PARCR Admin

LeadingAge PA has released the following information about the Pennsylvania 2018-2019 Fiscal Year Budget with some positive news for nursing facilities and an update on The Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act, HB 2291

June is a very busy time in Harrisburg as the General Assembly works to pass a timely state budget for the new fiscal year which begins July 1. The $32.7B spending plan actually made it to the Governor’s desk, and was signed, with eight days to spare.

For the first time in four years there is some positive news for nursing facilities. Through the advocacy of LeadingAge PA, both the members and Government Affairs team, we were successful in having a 1% increase for Medical Assistance funding for nursing facilities included. The Nonpublic Medical Assistance Day-One Incentive Payment continues to be funded at $8M of state funds.

If you have questions regarding the budget please contact Anne Henry at ahenry@leadingagepa.org or Georgia Goodman at ggoodman@leadingagepa.org

Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act

The Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act, HB 2291 was introduced when Department of Human Services (DHS) Personal Care Home surveyors entered the independent living of a LeadingAge PA member CCRC and started to question the seniors living there about services they were receiving. After doing so, DHS demanded that a number of seniors immediately move to personal care and that the CCRC cease and desist operating an illegal Personal Care Home in their independent living.

HB 2291 would modify the definition of personal care homes to protect the privacy and independence of individuals living in independent living settings. This bill has been a priority of LeadingAge PA. On Wednesday, June 20, Anne Henry, Sr. VP and Chief Government Affairs Officer of LeadingAge PA and Mr. John Dickson, President and CEO of Redstone Presbyterian SeniorCare testified before the House Aging Committee during an informational hearing on this bill. You can view their testimony by clicking the link on their names above.

The House Aging Committee met on June 22 after amending the bill with an amendment that LeadingAge PA has agreed to, voted the bill out of committee with only 1 negative vote. LeadingAge PA will be working on this bill with the General Assembly this fall. A big thank you to all of our members who have discussed this important legislation with their elected members of the General Assembly.

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Tidbits for Fall 2018

10/10/2018 - PARCR Admin

On October 3, 2018 LeadingAge PA reported that The Senior Independent Living Facility Privacy Act (HB 2291) made progress thanks to our advocacy!

In Pennsylvania, bills must be considered three times prior to passage and on Monday, Oct. 1, HB 2291 received second consideration. There are not many days left on the legislative calendar, but LeadingAge PA is hopeful that HB 2291 will receive third consideration and final passage in the House yet this session. LeadingAge PA is requesting that we keep up our advocacy to get the bill past the finish line in the House.

In addition continue to urge your senator to sign on to SCO 1590 to co-sponsor The Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act protecting the rights and privacy of seniors to age in place which would be a companion bill to HB 2291.

LeadingAge PA is requesting additional advocacy from PARCR to ask our Congressional Representatives to Cosponsor the Nursing Home Workforce Quality Act (H.R. 6986)

Right now, nursing homes that are assessed penalties above a certain level automatically lose their authority to train nursing assistants (CNAs) for two years. This “CNA Training Lockout” runs counter to a nursing home’s ability to provide the highest quality of care.

The Nursing Home Workforce Quality Act (H.R. 6986) has just been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would end the mandatory CNA training lockout. Rather than this arbitrary two-year penalty, CMS and the states would have the discretion to impose a lockout under certain conditions; and any lockout imposed would end once the deficiencies cited are corrected.

We can use our voices and help LeadingAge build momentum for this new legislation! We can contact our own legislator now.

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Legislative Update on HB 2291

11/4/2018 - PARCR Admin

We gave it a valiant try but could not move HB2291 for a final vote. We do not have to give up. We will continue to follow progress through LeadingAge PA and lend our voices to advocacy again when appropriate. Below is a positive endorsement of our efforts from LeadingAge PA.

HB 2291: Thank You for Your Advocacy- it Rallied Remarkable Progress this Session!

HB 2291, the Independent Senior Living Facilities Privacy Act, jointly prime sponsored by Representatives George Dunbar (R - Westmoreland) and Pam DeLissio (D-Montgomery, Philadelphia) was voted unanimously from the House in October, only six short months after it was introduced. Having a bill move so quickly and in a bipartisan manner is almost unheard of and much credit is due to the grassroots pressure of LeadingAge PA members and residents especially in the face of growing opposition of other associations representing personal care homes and assisted living residences.

Unfortunately, after House passage there just weren’t enough session days left to get a vote in the Senate and send the bill to the Governor’s desk. LeadingAge PA will continue to aggressively pursue resolution of the issue that made the Independent Senior Living Facilities Privacy Act necessary. Please watch for updates on this topic in future issues of Government Affairs News.

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Budget Advocacy Update

2/18/2020 - PARCR Admin

LeadingAge PA reported on its proposal for the for 2020-2021 budget. Below is the report detailing the Quality Incentive Program and a 2% rate increase for both nursing homes and LIFE programs. Please note the last paragraph about grassroots advocacy.

In addition there is information on the Older Adult Protective Services Act, the Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act (HB2291), and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Fiscal Accountability Regulation.

LeadingAge PA Advocacy Update

State Budget Advocacy for 2020/2021

Almost as soon as the ink was dry on the 2019/2020 budget, LeadingAge PA began to work on our proposal for the 2020/2021 budget. We spent a number of months developing a Quality Incentive Program that would reward nursing homes for better staffing, better utilization of state Medical Assistance funds and better quality measures. This initiative was presented to the Wolf Administration as a proposed program to be included in the governor's Executive Budget that was announced on February 4, 2020. Unfortunately, for the sixth straight year, the Executive Budget did not include any rate increase for nursing homes.

In the meantime, until the budget is finalized by the legislature and the governor, we are working diligently on strategies to obtain not only $17 million in new state funding for our proposed Quality Incentive Program, but also a 2% rate increase for both nursing homes and LIFE programs. A rate increase for LIFE programs would be a modest return to the rates they were reimbursed prior to 2009 when they were reduced by 5%.

However, if we are to be successful, the General Assembly needs to hear your voice, too. In the upcoming months, please watch for Member Alerts with information on grassroots advocacy efforts.

Older Adult Protective Services Act

Since November 2019, we have been hard at work advocating for changes to the Older Adult Protective Services Act (OAPSA). The changes we are proposing would balance protections for seniors, ensure workers are not subject to numerous new criminal history background checks and prevent providers from being burdened with costly administrative processes.

Revisions to OAPSA are needed since multiple appellate court decisions have rendered parts of the existing law unconstitutional. Currently, there are two bills in the General Assembly aimed at fixing the law.

In the Senate, Senator Robert Mensch (R-Lehigh) has introduced SB819, while in the House, Representative Tim Hennessey (R-Montgomery) has introduced HB1930. Both bills contain provisions for prohibited offenses and time frames under which an applicant cannot be hired.

SB819 has passed the Senate and now sits in the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee. LeadingAge PA opposes this bill and has asked the House to not take it up. HB1930 is more favorable, in its current form. However, in November and December 2019, the bill was scheduled for a vote out of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee with amendments that would have been disadvantageous for our members. Working in coalition with other long-term care and service provider associations, we were able to stop this bill from being voted on both times. We continue to work with the House Aging Committee, the Governor's Office, and the Department of Aging on language that we can agree upon.

Independent Senior Living Facility Privacy Act

The need for this legislation arose from an incident when representatives from the Department of Human Services canvased independent living apartments and questioned residents about their care needs. LeadingAge PA is actively working with Representative Eric Nelson (R-Westmoreland) to revise the language of House Bill 2291 from the last legislative session. The new language is intended to offer some protections for both independent living providers and residents. Once the co-sponsor memo is available, we will ask LeadingAge PA members to contact your members of the State House and request they sign on as co-sponsors of this legislation.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation

In November 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed regulation, the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR) that could structurally alter Pennsylvania's already underfunded Medicaid program. Not only does this regulation have the potential to affect our nursing home members, it could also have devastating effects for our Continuing Care Retirement Community / Life Plan members. If this regulation was to be implemented as it is currently proposed, the process for approval of provider taxes, such as the Nursing Facility Assessment Program, would be significantly more subjective and unpredictable, the consequences of which CMS admits are unknown.

Not only has LeadingAge PA recognized the lack of clarity in the current proposed regulation, the unknown consequences to the Medicaid program, and the potential disruptions to the already tenuous system supporting the commonwealth's most vulnerable citizens, but we have already begun taking action on behalf of our members! We have submitted comments to CMS, written letters to the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation, and drafted talking points for you, our members, to use when contacting CMS and our elected officials in Washington, D.C. Additionally, we are providing education on the CMS proposal to not only our members, but also our state officials who have received comment letters from many CCRC residents.

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