Apr. 29, 2022

HARRISBURG – Legislation introduced by state Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) that would help increase the availability of personal assistance services for residents in need across the Commonwealth has already drawn bipartisan support from more than 30 House colleagues.

“More and more Pennsylvanians are choosing home care for elderly and disabled loved ones, as well as individuals recovering from severe injuries, which has resulted in dramatic increases in demand for those services and a subsequent strain on available resources,” said Struzzi. “The problem is a lack of personnel to meet this growing need. House Bill 2563 seeks to entice more people to join the profession.”

The current average hourly rate for home health aide/personal care attendant in Pennsylvania is $13.40/hour. 

Medical Assistance program providers, however, cannot simply increase wages and pass the cost along to consumers. These providers are severely limited by the reimbursement rates they receive from Managed Care Organizations, which are directly impacted by the fee-for-service rates set by the General Assembly. These rates must cover the cost of training, overtime, benefits, personal protective equipment, transportation, background checks, health screenings, office staff and more.

Struzzi’s legislation seeks to:

Increase the personal assistance services reimbursement rate by 8%, with the goal of allowing providers to offer an average hourly wage of $15/hour to enable them to recruit and retain quality caregivers. 

Set fee-for-service Medicaid reimbursement rates as the rate floor for personal assistance services. Managed care organizations would still be free to negotiate additional incentives/payments to providers.

Require an actuarial study to determine the cost of care to occur every three years, consistent with other Medical Assistance programs.
Provide personal assistance services agencies with reimbursement for overtime expenses, consistent with reimbursements currently being provided in the consumer-directed model.

“It is time we updated our model of care and access to it through practical updates in the law,” said Struzzi. “People want to receive care in the comfort of their own home whenever possible, and the changes I am proposing will help make sure we can meet that request.”

Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott Little
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