HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today completed another step in his Healthy Pennsylvania plan to ensure access to quality, affordable health care with the signing of an Executive Order establishing the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Commission.
"Pennsylvania has a rapidly growing older adult population and the sixteenth largest population of non-institutionalized persons with disabilities in the nation," Corbett said. "It's critical that we take a closer look at the needs within our system and identify ways to make it more effective and efficient to meet those needs, not just now, but for years to come."
The commission will develop recommendations focused on improving the current long-term care system, including identifying effective ways to provide a better coordinated approach to delivering services and support, and ensuring quality health care for older Pennsylvanians and individuals with physical disabilities.
"Pennsylvania's long-term care system provides options for older adults and individuals with physical disabilities to remain active in their communities," Corbett said. "We need to increase access to those services, focusing on the people we serve and their needs and identifying ways to make the system more sustainable."
Secretary of Public Welfare Beverly Mackereth and Secretary of Aging Brian Duke will serve as the co-chairs of the commission. The commission will have until December to complete its evaluation and will submit its findings to the governor.
"The state spends more than $4.7 billion each year on Medicaid long-term care services, and the demand continues to grow," Mackereth said. "Through the Governor's Healthy Pennsylvania initiative, the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Commission will help us look at ways that will improve our long-term care delivery system. I thank the governor for seeing that need and for his commitment to persons with disabilities and older adults."
"By 2015, one in four individuals in the state will be 60 years of age and older and the population of Pennsylvanians age 85 and older continues to grow," Duke said. "As that population continues to grow, so does the need for programs and services. The Long-Term Care Commission continues Governor Corbett's commitment to older Pennsylvanians."
The commission currently consists of 25 members that include consumers and their families, and representatives from Area Agencies on Aging, the physical disabilities community, medical community, providers of long-term care, managed care organizations and members of the legislature.
"I am confident the members of this commission will help to strengthen our existing resources for both older adults and persons with disabilities and provide recommendations that will put Pennsylvania's long-term care system on the right path for the future," Corbett said.
Members of the Commission are as follows:
- Pa. Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth; Co-chair
- Pa. Secretary of Aging Brian Duke; Co-chair
- Senator Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery)
- Representative Rosemarie Swanger (R-Lebanon)
- Representative Steve Samuelson (D-Lehigh)
- Carl W. Bailey, Philadelphia
- Francis J. Byrne, Jeffersonville
- Lawrence M. Clark, Mechanicsburg
- Scott Crane, Schwenksville
- Vicki M. Hoak, Camp Hill
- Anne E. Holladay, Lock Haven
- Sharon Alexander Keilly, Lititz
- Kathleen Kleinmann, Washington
- Bruce Kinosian, Philadelphia
- Christian Leinbach, Hamburg
- M. Crystal Lowe, York
- Edwin E. Manbeck, Camp Hill
- Kyle Merbach, Pittsburgh
- Matthew E. Perkins, Kittanning
- Lisa M. Perugino, Dallas
- Don Rea, Gibsonia
- Charles F. Reynolds III, Pittsburgh
- Karen Squarrell Shablin, Langhorne
- Stuart H. Shapiro, Bala Cynwyd
- Ralph Trainer, Douglassville
The establishment of the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Commission is effective immediately.
To view the Executive Order, visit www.oa.state.pa.us and click on "Records & Directives," then "Executive Orders".
Media contact: Christine Cronkright, Governor's Office, 717-783-1116
Eric Kiehl, DPW, 717-425-7606
Christina Reese, Aging, 717-783-3368
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor