Pennsylvania House Passes Bill to Enhance Nursing Home Care Through Increased Collaboration

Nursing Home, Long-Term CareImage via Pixabay

HARRISBURG, PA — In a legislative development aimed at improving the quality of care in nursing homes across Pennsylvania, the state House of Representatives has passed House Bill 1853 with a bipartisan vote of 125-76. The bill, co-sponsored by State Reps. Melissa Shusterman (D-Chester) and Kristin Marcell (R-Bucks), seeks to amend the Health Care Facilities Act to foster better communication and collaboration between the Department of Health and nursing home staff.

Under the proposed legislation, the Department of Health’s nursing care field officers would be required to hold annual meetings with staff at licensed nursing facilities within their jurisdiction. The primary objective of these meetings is to discuss survey results, identify patterns and trends, and share best practices to elevate the quality of senior care throughout the state.

Rep. Shusterman emphasized the bill’s aim to improve the lives of seniors in Pennsylvania by promoting a unified effort to provide top-tier senior care. She highlighted the importance of the exchange of ideas and information between the Department of Health and nursing home staff as a means to achieve this goal.

Rep. Marcell echoed this sentiment, stating that the collaboration facilitated by House Bill 1853 is essential for protecting the lives of vulnerable citizens. By fostering a transparent and effective relationship between regulatory bodies and care providers, the legislation aims to put the well-being of over 60,000 Pennsylvania residents first.

Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, praised the bill for its potential to strengthen collaboration between health surveyors and providers, thereby enhancing care outcomes. He noted that ensuring high-quality care for the state’s elderly and adults with disabilities requires cooperation among all stakeholders, including providers, regulators, key stakeholders, and family members.

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The passage of House Bill 1853 represents a proactive approach to addressing challenges in the nursing home sector. By institutionalizing regular dialogue and information sharing, the legislation sets the stage for continuous improvement in care standards and practices. This initiative is particularly timely, as the aging population in Pennsylvania and nationwide places increasing demands on long-term care facilities.

The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration. If enacted, it could serve as a model for other states grappling with similar challenges in the long-term care sector. By prioritizing collaboration and transparency, Pennsylvania is taking important steps toward ensuring that its most vulnerable citizens receive the care and dignity they deserve.

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