Pennsylvania Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Nursing Homes During COVID-19

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Posted: Nov 17, 2020 2:00 PM
Pennsylvania Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Nursing Homes During COVID-19

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

As the COVID pandemic continues to harm nursing homes, Pennsylvania Senators Pat Toomey (R) and Bob Casey (D) introduced bipartisan legislation to protect the most vulnerable. The pair of Senators push for accountability for nursing home facilities to ensure that safety and care standards are being met appropriately. 

The Pennsylvania Senators’ “Nursing Home Reform Modernization Act” aims to expand the Special Focus Facility (SFF) program, which provides federal oversight to nursing home facilities. 

Sen. Casey pointed to an alarming number of nursing home residents and caregivers that have died from COVID both in Pennsylvania and nationwide, on account of policies that failed to protect facilities from the growing pandemic.

“Since the first outbreak of COVID-19 at a nursing facility in February, more than 94,000 residents and workers in nursing homes and long-term care facilities have died from the virus. We have an imperative to help nursing homes residents and workers amid this public health crisis, and we must also improve care quality in nursing facilities—especially those that have a consistent pattern of failing safety and care standards. We have an obligation to these residents and workers to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19 and keep them safe,” said Senator Casey. “I urge my colleagues to pass this bipartisan bill immediately.”

The bipartisan legislation follows a 2019 report spearheaded by Sens. Toomey and Casey, that revealed perpetual issues at nursing homes that underperform and do not meet the set standards.