After decades of speaking out about dangerously low staffing and out-of-date care standards, Pennsylvanians have a historic path forward to safe staffing. It’s all because caregivers never stopped demanding and advocating for reform.
On August 1st, the Department of Health began its 30-day public comment period on its proposal to increase Pennsylvania’s staffing standard to 4.1 hours of direct care per resident per day. This is a big increase from 2.7 hours, as required in the Commonwealth’s 25-year old nursing home regulations.
We have to speak out louder than ever during August’s public comment period, especially with industry executives working hard and spending big to convince the Governor’s administration that low staffing standards aren’t the problem plaguing long-term care.
Workers cannot let executives who are pushing back on 4.1 be louder than us—the people who actually care for residents and patients every day.
“We’ve known for a very long time that the current regulations aren’t good enough, our residents suffered for it, and it caused too much turnover,” said Kim Jackson, who has been a long-term care licensed practical nurse for 20 years. “We never stopped advocating for this change and now that it’s here, I have hope. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that.”
These next four weeks are critical to showing nursing home workers, other caregivers, residents, and their families all back 4.1. This pandemic has only exposed how unable our long-term care system is to prioritize residents and their caregivers. Over 13,000 nursing home residents have died from Covid-19, and countless workers lost their lives and fell ill, making Pennsylvania one of the worst states in the nation for nursing home Covid deaths.
We have waited for too long to raise the staffing standard, and now we have to do everything in our power to push 4.1 past the finish line. Click here to tell the Governor’s administration and your legislators that you support raising the state staffing standard to 4.1.
Below you can see a summary of the regulatory update review process, where we are, and our remaining steps to enacting 4.1.