A bill to improve communications between medical directors at long term care facilities and the Pennsylvania Department of Health has made its way through the state House.
Representative Wendi Thomas (R-178) introduced the legislation, House Bill 2792, in late August. She represents parts of Bucks County including Richboro, Wrightstown, and New Hope.
H.B. 2792 would create a registry of medical directors in nursing homes, personal care homes and assisted living facilities.
The goal is to have a list of professionals the state can contact in the event of a medical crisis. Thomas says this would help to address the needs these facilities face.
“Medical directors and physicians who oversee clinical care in post-acute care settings are more engaged as evidenced by their response to the ever rapidly changing COVID crisis,” said Thomas. “House Bill 2792 will prove important to provide current information, access to best practices to other physicians, government officials, and healthcare providers.”
Thomas pointed to the number of coronavirus victims who were residents of nursing homes and long term care facilities. Seven out of ten victims throughout the state were residents are these facilities.
In Bucks County, the percentage is even greater at close to 80 percent. Of the 530 victims in Bucks as of Monday, 413 were residents of nursing homes and similar facilities.
Thomas said creating a registry of medical directors would help to prevent such losses in the future.
“There was no informational resource available to help the administration or the legislature better communicate directly with physician leadership to address the needs of those living in long term care facilities.”
The bill now moves to the state Senate.