In July of 2021, Pennsylvania’s Department of Health announced massive nursing home reforms. Supporters believe these changes will improve the care that patients receive.
Many believe that the changes are too sweeping and are thus unattainable. Whether these reforms are realistic remains a topic of intense discussion.
What are the proposed nursing home reforms?
Under the proposed modifications, patients will receive more hours of care than before. The new rules mandate at least 4.1 hours of patient care a day. That is up from 2.7 hours per day, an increase of more than 50%. Supporters believe the change is necessary to decrease patient neglect.
There is more. The reforms prohibit any reduction of hours from ancillary staff, such as housekeepers.
Complying with these rules means that more employees will need to be hired. This is the first time that Pennsylvania’s nursing regulations have changed since 1999.
Are the proposed nursing home reforms practical?
Many are worrying that the proposed reforms are impossible to put into practice. Care facilities are already dealing with a severe worker shortage. Qualified individuals remain hard to find. Critics believe the new rules will worsen the staffing problem to untenable proportions.
Others feel that Pennsylvania can rise to the challenge. They point to the successes of other states as proof that these reforms are achievable.
Only the future will reveal how these reforms impact Pennsylvania’s nursing home situation. Everyone agrees that the quality of care that patients receive is what matters most. Meanwhile, the debate continues to rage on.