CBSN PittsburghWatch

Pennsylvania Nursing Home Advocates Begging For Emergency Funding

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Our state’s leading advocates for nursing homes and long-term care facilities are sounding the alarm and begging for help.

“This has been the most challenging time in the history of longterm care,” said Zach Shamberg, president of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association.

KDKA investigator Meghan Schiller first talked with Shamberg in August and reported on the need for emergency funding. Shamberg said it is a serious problem and he’s calling on state legislators and the governor’s office for immediate help.

He tells KDKA that this a problem happening at local nursing homes.

“This is a time like no other,” said Steve Tack, CEO of Quality Life Services.

Tack runs Quality Life Services, a family-owned business of nursing homes and personal care facilities.

“Our staff have been absolutely incredible in how they’ve sacrificed themselves and the care of the residents that they dearly love, but the challenges just continue to get larger and larger,” said Tack.

Challenges like understaffing, skyrocketing expenses and funding issues.

“Expenses have increased for some facilities in Pennsylvania more than 200 percent in just the last six months,” said Shamberg.

To get the full picture, Shamberg told KDKA that he surveyed all providers in the Pennsylvania Health Care Association about their troubles.

“And what they told us is sobering, it’s shocking and it is a cause for immediate alarm,” he said.

Shamberg said nearly seven years of flat funding gives the industry no chance against rising costs.

“Eight-nine percent of our providers say that their operations are barely or completely unsustainable moving forward,” said Shamberg.