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Pennsylvania DPW Secretary Corrects the Record on State Funding For Nursing Homes
Date:6/3/2008

Pennsylvania Nursing Homes among Nation's Best-Reimbursed

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Public Welfare Estelle B. Richman today corrected claims by Pennsylvania nursing home advocates by saying nursing homes in Pennsylvania enjoy some of the most generous reimbursement rates in the nation.

"Year after year, for as long as anyone can remember, Pennsylvania nursing homes have received a higher level of funding that far outweighs other organizations providing care to the same population," said Richman.

"In fact, Pennsylvania spends more on nursing homes than California, with a population three times the size of Pennsylvania; we spend more than Texas, with a population twice our size; and we spend more than Florida, which has the highest percentage of seniors in the nation with nearly 1 million more elderly residents than Pennsylvania."

While the nursing home industry complains that it is struggling, Pennsylvania taxpayers already gives it more than $3 billion per year and it enjoys some of the highest daily reimbursement rates in the nation, $31 higher than the national average.

It is estimated that 60 percent of people will likely need long term living services at some point during their lifetime. Pennsylvanians of all ages and needs have overwhelmingly stated that they prefer to receive care in their own home or community. While nursing homes have enjoyed years of openhanded funding, the focus has now changed to provide the in-home long-term living services and supports that Pennsylvania consumers prefer.

In addition to giving consumers what they want, the greater focus on home -- and community-based care saves taxpayers money.

One year of institutional care in a nursing home costs $67,000, of which $52,000 is borne by taxpayers, while the average cost of providing home- and community-based services through an in-home program, such as the Aging Waiver, is $21,000.

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
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