HARRISBURG – Lancaster County Senators Scott Martin (R-13) and Ryan P. Aument (R-36) today voiced their support for additional funding to help nursing homes deal with the significant new challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic and urged the Wolf Administration to do everything in its power to expediently grant regulatory waivers to assist these facilities hit hardest by this crisis.
The current public health emergency has created major problems in nursing homes related to staffing, proper testing and availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Many facilities are struggling to have enough healthy staff on-hand to meet the needs of patients. The additional costs for PPE and testing, coupled with low patient reimbursement rates from Medicaid are placing an unprecedented financial strain on nursing homes.
Senate Bill 1122 was amended by the Senate Appropriations Committee today to distribute an additional $200 million to nursing homes from Pennsylvania’s share of money from the federal CARES Act. As a member of the committee, Martin voted in favor of the new funding. Both Senators also said they would support the additional funding when the bill comes before the Senate for final passage in the near future.
“Nursing homes have been among the hardest-hit facilities in the state during this pandemic, and they have been urgently asking for assistance over the last month from the Administration,” Martin said. “This additional funding could make a world of difference for these facilities’ most critical needs.”
As of April 30, 475 of Lancaster County’s 1703 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases are patients and staff of nursing homes, and 81 of Lancaster County’s 103 COVID-19 deaths were nursing home residents.
“Nursing home residents are among our most vulnerable populations in Lancaster County, and we must ensure that those facilities have the resources, protocols, testing capabilities, and personal protective equipment (PPE) that they need in order to protect their residents and staff,” said Aument. “As such, this funding could serve as a lifeline to the many long-term care facilities in the county as they fight to reduce the already devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on our senior population.”
The amended version of Senate Bill 1122 is expected to be considered by the committee soon.
CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535 (Senator Martin)
Ryan Boop (717) 787-4420 (Senator Aument)