Tuesday, March 16, 2010

House releases health care budget

Reports from the Capitol are out of the initial House Health Care Appropriations budget, which includes a $132.8 million cut to nursing home Medicaid funding (that amounts to approximately 4.6% or $8.50 per patient day). The budget also expands the Nursing Home Quality Assessment Program to the maximum 5.5 percent, and Hospice rates are reduced $11.6 million to reflect nursing home funding cut. There is a funding transfer of $8.5 million from nursing home case growth for the Nursing Home Transition Program (which represents 540 individuals) ; however, there is no expansion of additional slots for the Nursing Home Diversion Program.

The budget release is timely, as over 100 FHCA members representing Cypress Health Care Management, Gulf Coast Health Care, Summit Care, Avante Group and Ponce de Leon are in town this week to urge legislators not to make these devastating cuts which will threaten quality of care and quality of life for our state's most vulnerable citizens.

Please join FHCA in advocating for adequate nursing home funding and contact your legislator to urge them to oppose these funding cuts for our state's frail elders, 60 percent of who rely on Medicaid to cover the costs of their nursing home care. Our 'Greatest Generation' deserves better.

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