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Leading Senior Care Organizations Take Legal Action

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Leading Senior Care Organizations Take Legal Action Against Wolf Administration, Demand Release of Federal Funding Designated to Support Nursing Homes

Pennsylvania's Most Vulnerable Deprived of Desperately-Needed Funding as the COVID-19 Pandemic Intensifies

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Dec. 8, 2020) - Pennsylvania's leading senior care advocacy organizations - LeadingAge PA, the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA), and the Pennsylvania Coalition of Affiliated Healthcare & Living Communities (PACAH) - filed a lawsuit yesterday in state Commonwealth Court to demand Wolf Administration officials re-allocate more than $150 million in federal dollars that, in accordance with state law, was mandated to be directed to Pennsylvania's nursing home residents and their providers of care.

"We were forced to file this lawsuit because the administration is simply ignoring clear language in Pennsylvania law that requires all of these funds to be paid to nursing facilities," said LeadingAge PA President Adam Marles. "Federal lawmakers specifically designated more than $150 million to help caregivers reeling under the financial costs of this ongoing pandemic. The Wolf administration simply cannot re-appropriate funds to fill holes in the budget. Many nursing homes and long-term care facilites were already in crisis due to chronic Medicaid underfunding. Our facilities are trying to survive while battling a once-in-a-century pandemic. It continues to be mystifying how Gov. Wolf continues to ignore state law - and this desperate need."

"Yesterday, our organizations, on behalf of the nearly 700 nursing homes throughout Pennsylvania, filed suit to demand that the commonwealth allocate this critical funding to our most vulnerable residents and their providers of care - those Pennsylvanians who this allocation was meant to support in the first place," said Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of PHCA. "Despite our best efforts during months of negotiations, the commonwealth has refused to distribute this funding to our long-term care providers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, jeopardizing mitigation efforts and the safety of the residents in our care. We have no doubt the Wolf Administration wants the best for Pennsylvania's long-term care residents, and the best way for us to achieve that shared goal is for the immediate distribution of these funds."

"After months of discussion with the commonwealth on funds designated to Pennsylvania long-term care facilities, we took action yesterday to fight for all of Pennsylvania's long-term care communities as well as their residents to make sure they receive what is rightfully theirs, "said Chase Cannon, Executive Director of PACAH. "It is important to remember that these funds were mandated to be sent to long-term care residents and their providers. In such an important time when we all need to be working together, we are disappointed that these actions have taken place. Ultimately, we know that our actions will result in long-term care communities receiving what is rightfully theirs and to ensure long-term care residents are not pushed aside and forgotten."

 

Media Contacts:

LeadingAge PA: Christina Carden, ccarden@leadingagepa.org

Pennsylvania Health Care Association: Shayne Varner, svarner@phca.org

Pennsylvania Coaltion of Affiliated Healthcare & Living Communities: Kim Deline, kdeline@pacounties.org

 

Supporting Documents