PA Gov Tom Wolf hedshot
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and the state general assembly have passed what long-term care advocates have dubbed a “historic budget victory.” The total additional funding allocated for long-term care for the 2022-2023 budget cycle –– including federal matches –– is approximately $515 million, according to Pennsylvania Health Care Association.

According to PHCA, SEIU Healthcare PA and LeadingAge PA, nursing homes have gone almost 10 years without a budget increase. The advocacy groups and the union participated in a joint press conference Monday with the governor, PA Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler and other state legislators to announce the budgetary milestone they’ve worked together to achieve. 

“This investment — a direct result of the entire long-term care sector, as well as state leaders, working together — helps better position Pennsylvania to ensure continuity of care for tens of thousands of vulnerable senior citizens. For months, we have asked, ‘Who Will Care?’ Today, seniors and adults with disabilities should find comfort in knowing that Pennsylvania cares,” PHCA President and CEO Zach Shamberg stated

The Pennsylvania state budget for skilled nursing and assisted living includes:

  • A 17.5% Medicaid rate increase for nursing homes, which translates to an approximate $35 more per resident per day (including a federal match);
  • $131 million in American Rescue Plan Act stimulus funds for nursing homes;
  • $33 million in Medicaid Day One Incentive payments for nursing homes serving great numbers of Medicaid enrollees (including a federal match);
  • $26.7 million in ARPA stimulus funds for assisted living communities and personal care homes;
  • A $20 million increase to the supplemental security income rate for personal care home residents;
  • $4.2 million in ARPA stimulus funds for nursing homes serving a high number of residents on ventilators.

The increased Medicaid reimbursement rates will take effect in January, and the ARPA funds are expected to be allocated within the next two to three months.