July 22, 2021 − Senator Tim Kearney issued this statement following yesterday’s announcement from the Wolf Administration for proposed updates to nursing home regulations, including increasing the minimum direct care hours by 1.4 more hours each day to improve quality of care. The proposal is the first of five rulemaking packages that will be shared with the public for review and comment.

“The pandemic shed a light on the difficulties nursing care workers have been facing long before COVID-19 made their jobs even more challenging and stressful. I applaud Governor Wolf’s administration for taking action to address the conditions that both care workers and residents are suffering from.

When employees are asked to work in an environment with understaffing, they are immediately at a disadvantage for the level of care they can provide residents. This leads to burnout and high turnover, and a terrible situation for the residents who rely on these workers for medicine, food, and wellness care. It’s easy to see this is a lose lose scenario, but it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, our Democratic Caucus held a hearing yesterday to hear from essential healthcare workers about the conditions they work in. The testimony called even more attention to the need for urgent support for care workers and residents, and how policy can begin to change the tide in this industry.

There’s much work to be done to support both nursing home workers and the thousands of Pennsylvanians they care for, but this action from the Wolf Administration is a positive first step in addressing issues head on.”