Update March 17, 2020
LeadingAge PA thanked the Wolf administration for granting "several important long-term care waivers" and said "we have been told that additional guidance will follow." More information is here.
We appreciate @GovernorTomWolf, @PAHealthDept, and @PAHumanServices for granting critical regulatory and staffing relief to allow our members to better combat #COVID19 in #PA. Thanks to @LeadingAgePA for your partnership on this effort!Learn more here: https://t.co/KmPxsYHZIC— Pennsylvania Health Care Association (@PHCA_Cares) March 17, 2020
Yes, I’m retweeting an @AdamMarles and @LeadingAgePA tweet. Because that’s where we are right now in the fight against #COVID19. It’s no longer about ‘us vs. them’ or ‘our members vs. their members.’ We truly are all in this together. #FlattenTheCurve #collaboration https://t.co/MWAvVub6Pj— Zach Shamberg (@zashamberg) March 17, 2020
Posted March 16, 2020
In a joint letter to Gov. Tom Wolf, leaders of the two major Pennsylvania associations that represent nursing homes, personal care homes and assisted living residences say they “cannot continue to put our most vulnerable population and our workforce at risk” and urgently need cooperation from our state government.
“It’s critical to recognize that the acute workforce challenges faced by providers will be compounded with the spread of the virus,” they say. “As schools and day cares close, fear drives staff to call off, and the potential emerges for specifically dedicated staff in the event of a quarantined resident, the need for flexibility in staffing will be paramount to providing the best possible care for residents.”
Specifically, they’re asking Wolf to sign an executive order that
- Temporarily relaxes staffing requirements “if facilities are not able to meet minimums but are still providing adequate quality of care to residents”
- Allows ancillary or administrative staff to do certain tasks they’re not normally permitted to do, “after the proper, abbreviated training.”
- Relaxes day care regulations so facilities that have enough space can allow workers to bring their children, “as first suggested by the Department of Health and the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.”
- Grants temporary Pennsylvania licensure to doctors, nurses and physician assistants licensed in other states so they can help providers here.
- Works with federal regulators “to allow graduate and licensed nurses to work in the role of nurse aides, if necessary, during this critical time.”