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PA Health Officials Want More Funding for Personal-Care Homes

by Emily Scott, Keystone State News Connection

PA Health Officials Want More Funding for Personal-Care Homes

Pennsylvania officials visited a personal-care home in York County on Wednesday to highlight the need for continued investment in the state’s long-term care system, as outlined in Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget.

Personal-care homes provide housing, meals and other assistance for older adults and people with disabilities. The state funding proposal would increase the supplemental monthly payments the homes receive for providing care to Social Security recipients from $37 per day to $76 per day.

Meg Snead, acting secretary of the Department of Human Services, said the funding increase will help support Pennsylvania’s caring infrastructure.

“This much-needed increase will allow nearly 500 personal-care homes to invest in staff, their facilities and infection control,” Snead outlined. “Which will help residents and staff at these homes be safer and support better care, safety and quality of life, for residents and staff alike.”

The proposal would mean an additional $50 million in funding. Pennsylvania has not increased supplemental payments to personal-care homes since 2006. Budget negotiations are ongoing in the General Assembly and must be finalized by June 30.

Xzavier Hunter, owner/operator of Hunter Cottage, a personal-care home in York, said the increased funding is critical to addressing a housing crisis in the city and across the state, especially for older adults and people with disabilities who have limited incomes.

“So the challenge is, how can we help our seniors, how can we help our low-income individuals?” Hunter explained. “We’re on the front lines of this, the personal-care homes, and we need help. It’s that simple. I don’t know how much longer personal care homes in the state and the county can survive on $39 a day.”

There are an estimated 1,200 licensed personal-care homes in Pennsylvania and nearly 35 licensed assisted-living residences.