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House Committee Holds Informational meeting on Review of the Regional Response Health Collaboration Program

November 12, 2020

In Harrisburg today, the House Committee on Aging and Older Adult Services held an informational hearing on the effectiveness of the Regional Response Health Collaboration Program (RRHCP). Chaired by Representative Gary Day (R-Lehigh), the committee which oversees policy concerning the aging population heard testimony from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, hospitals and health systems representing the Southwest and Northeast regional RRHCPs, and organizations representing long term care facilities.

RRHCPs were established through Act 24 of 2020 as a mechanism to support long term care facilities (LTC) and patients during the spread of COVID-19. $175 million in state CARES funding was appropriated to the program to implement a collaborative between the commonwealth and hospitals and health systems in seven regions across the state. Through this collaborative, long term care facilities are able to request support in the form of personal protective equipment, testing, education/consultation of best practices, review of preparedness plans, and staffing needs.

As COVID-19 case counts continue to hit record numbers, all panelists agreed that residents in LTCs are some of the most vulnerable, and there is a direct correlation between the increase in community spread and an increase in the presence of COVID-19 in LTCs. Vigilance and continued cooperation are needed to protect long term care residents.

State legislative language is required to extend the use of the funding for the program through the end of the year. The Wolf Administration also indicated that they have requested additional funding and program support from the federal government to continue the program in the coming months.

For more information please contact Jennifer Jordan, HAP’s vice president, regulatory advocacy.