New Law to Hold Staffing Agencies for Nursing Homes Accountable in PA

After a near-unanimous vote in the state House and Senate, Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 2293 into law — legislation that will implement new regulations for staffing agencies. The Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) worked with the bill’s prime sponsor, state Representative Tim Bonner, to lead the charge in creating oversight and accountability for agencies operating in Pennsylvania’s long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, personal care homes and assisted living communities.

“It takes a community to support a community, and Pennsylvania’s leaders continue to prove and validate their support of long-term care providers, workers and residents,” said Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. “Pennsylvania will now implement regulations and guidelines for staffing agencies that have never existed before. This law will protect residents, workers and long-term care providers by creating oversight, accountability, and strict operating procedures.”

Key components of House Bill 2293, include:

  • A requirement for staffing agencies that provide temporary employment in nursing homes, assisted living residences and personal care homes to register with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a condition of their operations in the state;
  • Reinforcement for staffing agencies to validate the health care credentials of contracted employees;
  • Department of Health oversight of staffing agencies, including the creation of a system for reporting complaints and providing the department with the authority to issue penalties and sanctions;
  • The creation of policies and procedures for staffing agencies to abide by, including carrying medical malpractice insurance (for both the agency and individual employees);
  • Improved measures to prevent staffing agencies from misclassifying health care personnel as 1099 contract employees by requiring the agency to pay workers’ compensation coverage for all health care personnel under their control;
  • Banning restrictive covenants or non-compete clauses in agency contracts.

“This news is yet another reminder that collaboration between PHCA and our members, elected officials, and key stakeholders can create positive change for long-term care,” Shamberg emphasized. “Together, we can continue to enhance and advance care in Pennsylvania.”

House Bill 2293 takes effect immediately, and staffing agencies must abide by the following timeline:

  • Current staffing agencies operating through 11/3/2022 have 180 days to register with the Department of Health.
  • Staffing agencies established on 11/4/2022 and beyond have 90 days to register with the Department of Health.