HARRISBURG – The House Human Services Committee today unanimously passed a bill sponsored by Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) to preserve access to ventilator care in the Commonwealth’s nursing facilities.
Without passage of Senate Bill 108, Pennsylvanians who require ventilator and tracheostomy services may be forced to move into costly hospital beds or to a location accepting patients several hours farther from their loved ones.
People require this type of care for a variety of reasons, including trauma due to an auto accident, fall or stroke. It may also be necessary because of a diagnosis of a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or multiple sclerosis.
Ventilator care is not end-of-life care, nor is it always permanent. Rather, the specialized expertise of the skilled nursing providers in caring for long-term, stabilized ventilator patients, are often able to set up a weaning program that is tailored for each individual and allows for the extra time and healing not suitable for short-term hospital stays.
As Medicaid payments for this important care have declined substantially in the past decade, more and more providers have stated their intent to limit or entirely cease providing ventilator care.
“My bill would dedicate additional Medicaid funding to the facilities that have already shown a significant commitment to providing care for people facing these medical challenges. It would also incentivize other facilities to expand access so people across the state can get the care they need,” Bartolotta said.
Specifically, Senate Bill 108 would provide qualified nursing facilities an additional payment of $130 each day for eligible Medicaid ventilator or tracheostomy recipients.
CONTACT: Colleen Greer, 717-787-1463