Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Few New Nursing Homes Are Being Built in PA

Pennsylvania nursing homes have not significantly grown in number in recent years.  According to an article in the The Times-Tribune, a Scranton based news source, the state of Pennsylvania has only licensed one new Medicaid-accepting nursing home in Lackawanna County since the late 1990s.  Additionally, three nursing homes in the same county have closed their doors since the early 2000s. 

The Times-Tribune also spoke with Michael Kelly, the president of a long-term care company in Scranton that owns a personal-care facility and is in the process of building another one.  According to Kelly, it is very difficult to get a nursing home license and build a new facility in Pennsylvania (source: The Times-Tribune).  Since the state of Pennsylvania changed its licensing criteria in the late 1990s, it created more opportunities for home and community-centered care facilities to flourish for senior citizens.  Unfortunately, this same criteria made it difficult for seniors using Medicaid to access nursing homes.

Since the new regulations have been put into effect, it's become difficult to build new nursing homes for Medicaid clients unless the state designates that the facility is necessary to provide services to an affected area.  Considering 65% of nursing home users in the state use Medicaid, some suggest that this has created a large gap in care. There has been virtually no new nursing homes built in the state since 1998, and the average age of a nursing home in the state is about 50 years old.  Since many baby boomers are entering retirement, many are concerned about how the state will be able to serve their needs.

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for older Pennsylvanians who have been abused or neglected.  For more information on his Altoona, PA area practice, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.  Attorney Stoehr takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties.

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