Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Governor's Budget Preserves Medicaid Funding for Nursing Center Care

Today, Governor Scott released his $77 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2015-16. The Governor provides full funding for nursing center care as projected by the December 12, 2014 Social Services Estimating Conference. The budget also recommends funding to develop a resource utilization groups(RUGs)-based prospective payment system (PPS) for nursing center care. It's important to note that FHCA supports the development of a PPS system; however not necessarily one based on the RUGs methodology which does not take into account Florida's high staffing standards required to meet residents’ care needs.

Florida Health Care Association applauds Governor Scott for preserving vital Medicaid funding for the care of nursing center residents. “We recognize that Florida’s leaders must find ways to fund a wide variety of critically important programs, and we’re thankful the Governor understands the important connection between adequate funding and high-quality care for our state's frailest elders,” said Emmett Reed, Executive Director of FHCA.

The Governor’s budget also recommends $400,000 in funding for the expansion of Florida’s Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse. In operation since 2013, the Clearinghouse enables several state agencies to conduct criminal background checks which, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), expedites the hiring process for employers and allows qualified applicants to start work sooner.

As part of AHCA's media statement in relation to the Governor's budget, Marilyn Wood, President of FHCA's advocacy partner Our Florida Promise, noted, “I want to thank Governor Scott for his support of this extremely important resource and for his commitment to ensuring that Florida’s background screening process is both thorough and secure.  Having the ability to use the Background Screening Clearinghouse for nursing home team members has not only saved me money, but also allows me to devote more of my time to what is really important – caring for our residents.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 15 at 10:00 a.m. EST is New Date/Time for FHCA's Legislative Priorities Webinar

Due to a scheduling conflict, FHCA has rescheduled the Legislative Priorities Webinar to this Thursday, January 15, from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. EST .
FHCA members only are invited to join us this Thursday, January 15, to learn more about the Association's 2015 legislative priorities and what providers can expect during the 2015 legislative session. From Medicaid funding and managed care to hospital observation stays and other regulatory issues, this informative webinar will help you prepare to advocate this session for your residents, your staff and the long term care profession.

  • Receive an update on the state budget and proposed changes to our payment methodology, along with reimbursement strategies as we continue to advocate for restoring Medicaid cuts that have been imposed on centers since 2008.
  • Hear the focus of FHCA's legislative ask to help improve Medicaid Managed Care operations to ensure providers can preserve their ability to deliver quality resident care.
  • Learn more about legislative initiatives to address hospital observation stays, pediatric nursing care and other regulatory fixes for skilled nursing centers and ALFs.
  • Hear how you can become actively involved in FHCA's grassroots initiatives, including our 2015 Lobby Wednesdays.
FHCA appreciates your understanding and flexibility surrounding this necessary rescheduling. We hope you can join us this Thursday, January 15, from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. EST for this informative event. Gather your staff and listen in from your center, or access the program from the convenience of your office or home.

Click here to register online (FHCA members-only login required). For assistance with your member login codes, contact FHCA.

*Please note, webinars are offered free as an FHCA member benefit; no CEUs will be available.