Tuesday, March 24, 2015

House and Senate Budgets Protect Funding for Nursing Center Care

Late last week, the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services each released their Chairman's proposed budgets. FHCA is pleased to report that both budgets hold nursing center care harmless from any funding cuts and add the standard inflationary increase.

Additionally, the House budget included $6.3 million to reduce the Medicaid Long Term Care wait-list and $2.9 million for PACE expansion in Palm Beach County, while the Senate budget included $18.7 million to reduce the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long Term Care wait-list.

Further, the Senate budget included $238,563 for the Background Screening Clearinghouse System. The House budget also contained funding of $400,000 to maintain and upgrade the Background Screening Clearinghouse System, $900,000 for the Area Agencies on Aging to assist seniors enrolling in Statewide Medicaid Managed Care and $250,000 for the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to contract with an independent entity to develop a plan to convert the current nursing center cost-based per diem reimbursement payment process to a prospective payment methodology.

It should be noted that the House and Senate health care budgets differ by just over $5.0 billion, as the Senate has included $2.8 billion in the budget to expand health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act and nearly $2.2 billion for the continuation of the Low Income Pool. The House budget proposal did not include either program.

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