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Bill To Be Reintroduced To Help Elderly Avoid Costly Nursing Home Care


HARRISBURG – Legislation will be reintroduced to help older Pennsylvanians remain independent and avoid costly nursing home care. Currently, when a person applies for Medicaid, they can be deemed eligible for nursing home services and receive those services without delay while the Medicaid application is being reviewed. However, if the applicant wishes to receive in-home care, they must wait until the application is fully approved, which could take up to nine months. According to Mercer County Sen. Michele Brooks, this prolonged interval sends an applicant into nursing home care when the in-home care would have been more appropriate and less expensive. Brooks said that her legislation would fix stringent and outdated Medicaid rules. The Commonwealth saves an estimated $34,000 per year for every person who is served in the home instead of in a long-term care facility. The Brooks bill had passed the state Senate unanimously last October, but was not taken up in the state House.