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Advocacy

TAKE ACTION NOWOppose PA DOH Regulatory Changes.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has proposed a number of new regulations for nursing facilities. Among them is one that would be particularly detrimental to Heritage Ministries: increasing nurse staffing minimums to ratios that would equal 4.1 nursing hours per patient per day. That’s a number that significantly exceeds the minimum ratio in any other state where we operate. New York, for example, recently increased its ratio to 3.5 nursing hours per patient.

Heritage Ministries is committed to providing outstanding quality of care and we’re proud of our record over these past two very difficult years. At the same time, it’s simply not possible to meet this proposed requirement of 4.1 hours at a time when our industry—and the entire country—is experiencing a labor shortage and other challenges exacerbated by the global pandemic.

We need your help. The Pennsylvania Department of Health is currently seeking public comments on the proposed regulatory changes. We ask that you sign and submit the letter below by June 27 through one of the following options.

1. Email a pre-written message to the Pennsylvania DOH opposing the proposed regulations.

– OR –

2. Download this letter template to send to your legislator.

– OR –

3. Use the message template found here in gray.

Thank you for your continued support.

Please contact Sallie Williams, Vice President of Advancement at advocacy@heritage1886.org for more information or to share your concerns.

Copy and paste the text below into an email to send (to RA-DHLTCRegs@pa.gov) or into a document to print and mail.

Pennsylvania Department of Health
301 Kline Village
Harrisburg, PA 17104

Dear Official:

I am writing on behalf of Heritage Ministries, which operates Rolling Fields Elder Care Community in Conneautville, to express my strong opposition to the proposed regulatory change that would require nursing facilities to provide at least 4.1 hours of nursing care per resident per day. Given the current staffing crisis in nursing and every industry, meeting this mandate would place an unsustainable financial hardship on Heritage Ministries.

Rolling Fields and all Heritage Ministries facilities are committed to providing outstanding quality care. I have seen the steps the organization has taken during these very difficult past two years to ensure that it continues to do just that for every resident. Heritage Ministries has provided salary increases to staff in each of the last two years, employee health and mental wellness services, incentive programs, increased PTO, and more to help with staff recruitment and retention. And as a not-for-profit nursing home organization, Heritage pays the costs for more than 50 percent of its residents through its benevolence and will not turn away residents.

All of this requires much more money than Heritage takes in from state reimbursement rates. Penalties that Heritage would incur from not meeting the 4.1 hours of nursing care under the proposed regulations is simply not practical. Without additional funding from the state and other support, Heritage will not be able to meet this threshold.

Rolling Fields provides vital services to its residents, families, and communities and employment opportunities to its staff. I would like to see the Department of Health work with organizations like Heritage to prioritize finding solutions for seniors over penalizing nursing facilities. Please do not allow these regulations to be approved.

Regards,

YOUR NAME HERE
YOUR PHONE NUMBER
YOUR ZIP CODE

SAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS

SKILLED NURSING/NURSING HOMES

@GovKathyHochul MUST provide meaningful funding to NY Nursing Homes in this year’s budget! A 1% Medicaid increase after years of cuts is not enough. Nursing Homes need resources to be able to compete for staff and serve residents. All seniors deserve better. #SupportOurSeniors

@GovKathyHochul ALL seniors deserve better funding and support from the state. Nearly 75% of nursing home care is paid for by Medicaid; the rest is mostly Medicare. Better staffing in nursing homes requires better funding than a 1% increase to inadequate rates. #SupportOurSeniors

@GovKathyHochul No funding has been provided to enable nursing homes to meet new staffing mandates, which ignore the reality of the healthcare workforce crisis. We need funding and support for nursing homes, not penalties! We must do better.

@GovKathyHochul NY nursing homes need over 12,000 new nurses and aides to comply with the new 3.5 nurse hour mandate. Homes cannot reach this shared goal of enhanced staffing without a substantial Medicaid increase to recruit them. Please #SupportOurSeniors in this budget!

ASSISTED LIVING

@GovKathyHochul State funding is going to Broadway, bars and the Bills, but not for needed COVID relief funding to adult care facilities and assisted living. Don’t leave these residents and staff behind. Please #SupportOurSeniors!

@GovKathyHochul After 14 years without a Medicaid increase, New York’s assisted living programs need more than a 1% increase. Low-income older adults living in these settings deserve better. Please #SupportOurSeniors in the final budget!

RECENT ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITIES

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The Heritage Ministries public policy team advocates on behalf of our residents, their families, and our staff, to enact policies that will address the needs, quality care, and safety that ensures all our communities are beacons of Hope, Dignity, and Purposeful Living. Add your voice to ours!

WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

1. Sign up to be an advocate!
2. Share your story!
3. Like us on Facebook for real-time updates.
4. Contact your representatives (below).

KEY CONTACTS

GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

Kathy Hochul
(518) 474-8390
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Email

US REPRESENTATIVE

Tom Reed
(716) 708-6369
East 2nd St. Suite 208
Jamestown, NY 14701
Email

NEW YORK HOUSE

Andy Goodell
(716) 664-7773
2 E. Second Street
Fenton Building, Suite 320
Jamestown, NY 14701
Email

NEW YORK SENATE

George Borello
(815) 455-6330
2-6 E. Second Street
Fenton Building, Suite 302
Jamestown, NY 14701
Email

Please share this message and contact information with family members waiting to see their loved ones - encourage them to contact Governor Hochul today!

CONTACT US

For visits, call your Heritage community for visitation hours (if applicable). Click here for current visitation policies, fact sheets, and screening forms.

For advocacy questions and for general inquiries, please contact us at questions@heritage1886.org.

For press inquiries, please contact Melissa Anderson at manderson@heritage1886.org or (716) 338-1585.