Thursday, March 28, 2013

CON exemption bill advances, FHCA members testify in opposition

Today, House Bill 1159 by Representative O’Toole was heard in the House Health Innovation Subcommittee. This bill preempts the current CON process for special deed-restricted communities, and while the language in this bill is focused on a single community, FHCA believes it could have negative consequences for nursing homes and long term care residents across the state.

Both FHCA Past President and Legislative Committee Chair Deborah Franklin (pictured) and Steve Bogolmilsky with Southern SNF Management testified in opposition to this bill, noting that the current CON law controls costs to the Medicaid program and ensures that nursing home care is based on the need and demand for these services. Many legislators support free markets; however, the fact is that nursing homes in Florida do not operate in a true free market system. The Legislature sets Medicaid rates for nearly 60 percent of the residents in nursing homes, and 80 percent of residents and patients rely on government funding to cover their long term care.

Although the bill passed out of this committee, it still has several stops to go, as does its companion in the Senate – Senate Bill 1482 by Senator Hayes. FHCA will continue raising our concerns with the Legislature and do all that we can to prevent this legislation in its current form from advancing.

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