PALA testified April 12, 2022 regarding the Workforce Crisis for Personal Care and Assisted Living communities. Margie Zelenak, Executive Director, focused on solutions to the crisis. Watch the hearing here and read her testimony here
Solutions discussed included:
Review regulatory requirements for PCH/ALR direct care staff that require a HS diploma or a non-US diploma that is equivalent to a US diploma.
Embrace immigrants and refugees to help with the direct care workforce shortage by eliminating barriers to employment.
Technology advances in long-term care are not aligning with current regulations. Review the options to adapt technology to assist with the workforce crisis.
Provide childcare funding to all employees, not only low-income employees who choose to work in LTC.
Promote and increase the apprenticeship programs for direct care workers.
Implement the public awareness campaign as recommended in the LTC Council Blueprint.
Provide American Rescue Plan funding for student loan forgiveness not only for nurses but for direct care workers that commit to working in LTC.
Support Rep. Kosierowski and HB 2325 LTC Facility Employee Retention Grant Program legislation from this committee for a vote in the House. This is the only legislation that
provides workforce retention and bonuses for Personal Care and Assisted Living communities.
Support Rep. Bonner and HB 2293 Temporary Health Care Services Agencies to reign in the outrageous costs that staffing agencies are charging communities because of the workforce crisis.
Pass the budget that includes $50 million for increase of SSI to assist PCH that provide care to these low-income residents.This additional funding will help PCH to stay open and increase their pay rates to recruit and retain employees.
Allocate additional American Rescue Plan funding to PCH/ALR so they can compete with other health care entities and attract a qualified, compassionate workforce.
Implement SB 115/Act 68 of 2021 adding Pennsylvania to the Nurse Compact Act. The inclusion of Pennsylvania in the Nurse Licensure Compact would allow nurses in other states to practice in PA