The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) established a Regional Response Health Collaboration Program (RRHCP) to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in long-term care facilities. On July 14, 2020, DHS announced the applicants selected to participate. The legislature approved $175 million for the RRHCP, and will operate under grant agreements through December 1, 2020. This effort is a collaboration between DHS, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
More than 45,000 Pennsylvanians live in more than 1,200 personal care homes and assisted living residences, and more than 80,000 residents live in 693 skilled nursing facilities throughout the commonwealth. The RRHCP will provide clinical, operational, and administrative support to protect residents in long-term care facilities from COVID-19. It will help those facilities implement best practices in infection control, implement contact tracing programs in facilities, support clinical care through on-site and telemedicine services, and provide remote monitoring and consultation with physicians. The RRHCP will assist in identifying alternate care arrangements for consumers no longer requiring acute care but needing assistance in returning to their long-term care facilities. The goal is to mitigate the risk of spread of COVID-19 to staff or residents
The applicants selected for each region are as follows:
- Southeast ($65.8 million): Thomas Jefferson University in partnership with Main Line Health and Lehigh Valley Health Network (Berks, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill); University of Pennsylvania in partnership with Temple University Hospital, Inc. (Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, and Philadelphia).
- Northeast ($24 million): Geisinger Clinic (Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming); Lehigh Valley Hospital, Inc. (Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, and Pike).
- Southcentral ($22.9 million): Pennsylvania State University (Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, and York).
- Northcentral ($9.8 million): Geisinger Clinic (Bradford, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, and Union).
- Southwest ($38.9 million): UPMC Community Provider Services in partnership with Allegheny Health Network, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland).
- Northwest ($13.6 million): LECOM Health (Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, and Warren); UPMC Community Provider Services in partnership with Allegheny Health Network, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania (Clarion, Clearfield, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, and Venango).
The program will also support facilities as they enhance testing capability for both individuals in care and staff under the expanded statewide testing order released in June 2020. The RRHCP partners will be a critical resource to help facilities without dedicated clinical staff implement the testing order.
This was reported by Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on July 14, 2020.