Health Care Association Boss calls Proposed Nursing Home Staffing Regulation “Unfounded” During Senate Hearing

During a joint Senate hearing before the Aging & Youth and Health & Human Services Committees, PHCA President and CEO Zach Shamberg raised grave concerns over access to care issues as the state’s Department of Health aims to move forward with a new regulation that would mandate higher staffing levels in nursing homes, particularly during a workforce crisis.

“More than 80% of our members that participated in a recent survey tell us that they have been forced to limit new admissions because of a lack of staff. In a state with one of the oldest populations in the country, we have very real access to care issues. That should alarm everyone in this room.

“What steps will the Department of Health take to help build our workforce pipeline? Who will fund this new cost, especially when providers are operating on -2.4% margins? And where will our most vulnerable senior citizens go if the providers we represent are forced to stop accepting medicaid residents — or close their doors altogether? Who will care for them?

“We said it in mid-July, and I will say it again: this proposal is unfounded. It’s unfunded. It’s unattainable. And it’s grossly out of touch with the reality facing every nursing home provider in Pennsylvania today.”

Zach Shamberg’s complete remarks can be viewed and downloaded here.

Information about the Department of Health’s proposed staffing regulation can be found here.