HARRISBURG – The House today passed legislation authored by Reps. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) and Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) that would dedicate additional Medicaid funding to facilities demonstrating a significant commitment to care for those on a ventilator or with a tracheostomy and create an incentive to facilities to expand geographic access to this type of care.
“As the last year has shown, ventilators play a key role in health care and can be the difference between life and death,” O’Neal said. “Unfortunately, Medicaid reimbursement over the past 10 years has not kept up with costs so specialized skilled nursing facilities have limited or have announced intentions to limit ventilator or tracheostomy care. As facilities curtail this type of care, patients will be forced to occupy costly hospital beds or be moved to placements hours away from loved ones. I am hopeful my legislation will prevent either of these nonideal situations from occurring.”
House Bill 1012
would provide for an additional $130 per eligible Medicaid ventilator or tracheostomy day for qualified Medical Assistance nonpublic and county nursing home facilities. The facility must have 10 or more Medical Assistance recipient residents who receive medically necessary ventilator care or tracheostomy care, or 17% or more of the facility’s Medical Assistance recipient resident population receives medically necessary ventilator or tracheostomy care.
“Pennsylvania has facilities like Fox Subacute in my district that deal only with vent/trach cases and cannot counterbalance the low level of reimbursement, unlike other providers who offer a wider variety of patient services,” added Delozier. “Six similar facilities statewide closed in the last year, meaning a loss of one-on-one attention for families who need and deserve to have their loved ones taken care of, as well as higher operating costs…paid for by taxpayers…for hospitals which are less able to offer the necessary skilled care.”
The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
The 48th Legislative District in Washington County includes the city of Washington; Chartiers, North Franklin, North Strabane and South Strabane townships; and Canonsburg, East Washington and Houston boroughs.
The 88th Legislative District in Cumberland County includes Lower Allen and Upper Allen townships and the boroughs of Lemoyne, Mechanicsburg, New Cumberland, Shiremanstown and Wormleysburg.
Representative Tim O’Neal
48th Legislative District
Representative Sheryl Delozier
88th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives