Legislation passed by the Senate today (May 12) will provide vital funding to nursing homes, personal care facilities and other senior citizens’ programs impacted by COVID-19 and allow them to continue providing essential services for the state’s most vulnerable population, according to Senator Elder Vogel, who supported the measure.
Senate Bill 1122 appropriates $507 million from Pennsylvania’s share of federal CARES funding to support a variety of programs and services for senior citizens and $31 million for a one-time grant program for volunteer fire and EMS companies. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
“The situation at Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver clearly shows the devastating and tragic impact that COVID-19 can have on a facility and its residents,” said Senator Vogel. “We need to take steps to prevent this from happening again, where it takes the National Guard and a manager appointed by the Department of Health to restore order. This bill gives our nursing homes and their employees additional resources to meet the new and widespread challenges they face.”
The $507 million in “Caring for Those Who Care for Us” funding in Senate Bill 1122 would be provided to:
- Nursing homes – $245 million;
- Personal assistance services – $140 million;
- Community HealthChoices managed care organizations – $50 million;
- Assisted living centers and personal care homes – $50 million;
- Adult day services – $13 million;
- LIFE (Living Independence for the Elderly) providers – $8 million;
- Residential habilitation – $1 million.
Pennsylvania has 700 nursing homes with approximately 80,000 residents, and more than 1,200 licensed personal care homes serving approximately 46,500 residents. As of today (May 12), residents of nursing homes and personal care homes have accounted for 12,130 of Pennsylvania’s 57,991 cases and 2,611 of the state’s 3,806 deaths associated with COVID-19. Another 1,724 cases have involved employees at these facilities.
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