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Caregivers call for funding

June 3, 2008
By MARJORIE STROMBERG, Sentinel reporter,
LEWISTOWN – Caregivers from two long-term care facilities in Lewistown will join more than 500 nursing home caregivers from across Pennsylvania at the state Capitol today to call on the Rendell administration and the General Assembly to increase funding for the care of Medical Assistance nursing home residents in the 2008-09 state budget.

The two local facilities are Golden LivingCenter-William Penn in Lewistown and Brookline Manor in Mifflintown. Pennsylvanians For Quality Care, a coalition of long-term care workers, facility residents and their families, is visiting with state legislators in the morning, followed by a rally at 1 p.m. at the Capitol Rotunda.

“We are participating in these legislative visits and in the rally because it’s vital that legislators understand the impact of the governor’s proposed budget,” said Wanda Page, the administrator at Golden LivingCenter-William Penn.

During the rally, Pennsylvanians For Quality Care will present nearly 300 petitions and proclamations — signed by more than 30,000 nursing home residents, families and caregivers — that ask elected officials to reject the governor’s proposed budget, which includes no increase for the care of nursing home residents.

“Nursing homes have been underfunded for the care of Medical Assistance residents for three years in a row, and we have nowhere left to trim expenses,” said Robert Fodor Jr., administrator at Brookline.

“Statewide, nursing homes already lose more than $12 per Medical Assistance resident per day – or roughly $4,300 per resident per year. Two-thirds of nursing home residents in Pennsylvania are on Medical Assistance,” Fodor said.

With the commonwealth underfunding nursing homes by nearly $290 million during the past three years, nursing homes in Pennsylvania are nearing a breaking point, according to a press release.

The release indicates many nursing homes are struggling financially to meet the medical, physical and social needs of residents. In some places in Pennsylvania, low-income elderly have to wait for nursing home beds, and self-paying nursing home residents have to pay more for their care because government isn’t meeting its obligation for the care of Medical Assistance residents, the release states.

Golden LivingCenter-William Penn and Brookline Manor are members of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, a statewide advocacy organization for the state’s older residents and their providers of care.

For more information about Pennsylvanians For Quality Care, visit, or call 221-7935.


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