Thursday, April 30, 2015

FHCA Provider Program - 2015 Session Recap

Watch this week's Provider Program video, which features a recap of FHCA's Lobby Wednesdays and the long term care legislation that passed this session.

Monday, April 27, 2015

FHCA Applauds Rep. Ahern/Sen. Sobel and Florida Legislature for passing ALF reform

Today we applaud Representative Larry Ahern and Senator Eleanor Sobel for their tireless dedication to craft responsible legislation that takes important steps toward fixing Florida’s ALF regulatory system. The Florida Legislature today passed House Bill 1001 by Rep. Ahern/Sen. Sobel, which is an excellent step toward promoting ALF accountability without imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens. At the same time, this important legislation will preserve resident quality care and a level of independence these individuals expect from their ALF home.

The passage of HB 1001 is not only important for our state's current and future senior citizens, but also will properly bolster the reputation of the dedicated assisted living professionals and staff who go to work each day with a focus on quality for the residents under their care.

Florida Health Care Association represents a core group of assisted living communities that are extremely proactive when it comes to quality improvement initiatives, and we're grateful to them for their continued advocacy throughout this process.

Friday, April 24, 2015

FHCA Provider Program - April 24, 2015

This week's video provides an update on several FHCA priority bills which have passed out of the Legislature and are on their way to the Governor's desk. We also cover the latest developments on the state budget impasse.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Long Term Care Legislation Heads to Governor's Desk

We're just one week out from what should be the scheduled May 1st end of the 2015 legislative session. If you've been following FHCA's updates or reading the news, however, you know that a resolution on the budget is unlikely. This means the Legislature will either have to extend the regular session or return to Tallahassee for a special session to work out the budget.

Despite the stall in budget negotiations, long term care priorities continue to advance. We're pleased to report that hospital admission status legislation is on its way to the Governor's desk after the Senate passed HB 309 by Rep. Shawn Harrison (R-63)/Sen. Don Gaetz (R-1) today. We're thankful to Rep. Harrison and Sen. Gaetz for taking up this important issue which will help ensure seniors are properly informed and protected from serious financial burdens.

SB 332 by Sen. Denise Grimsley (R-21) is also ready for the Governor's signature. The Legislature passed this long term care-friendly bill, which gives providers flexibility when choosing the pneumococcal vaccine for nursing center residents by eliminating the specific name brand from the regulation.

SB 7018 relating to the State Ombudsman Program has passed out of the House and is also heading to the Governor. This bill revises the operating structure and internal procedures of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and improves the Governor's Gold Seal process.

FHCA will continue its advocacy on behalf of long term care providers and residents, emphasizing the important connection between adequate Medicaid funding and high-quality care. Stay tuned for more updates on legislative advances and the state budget impasse.

Friday, April 17, 2015

FHCA Provider Program - 2015 Lobby Wednesdays Wrap Up with Caregivers, Family Members Advocating for Long Term Care

This week's Provider Program features members from Opis Senior Services Group, Summit Care and Page Healthcare, who joined us for FHCA's final Lobby Wednesday of the 2015 session. The more than 125 advocates in town for Lobby Wednesday, including frontline caregivers and family members, offered a tremendous opportunity to remind lawmakers to continue protecting vital Medicaid funding for nursing center care.

Friday, April 10, 2015

FHCA Provider Program - Working to Protect Nursing Center Funding

This week's Provider Program highlights activity surrounding the House and Senate budget proposals and its potential impact on the budget conference and sine die. As we've been reporting, there is ongoing debate surrounding Medicaid expansion and the hospital Low Income Pool program.  As lawmakers maintain their differences over whether the state should take federal money to expand the Medicaid program, FHCA is working to protect the Medicaid line item for nursing center care and ensure this critical funding remains intact throughout budget negotiations.

Friday, April 3, 2015

FHCA Provider Program - LTC Priority Bills Continue to Advance

At the halfway mark of the legislative session, FHCA continues to see its priority bills advancing and negative legislation dying. While the budget process is very fluid, there are still no cuts to nursing center funding at this time. The success of the week is due, in part, to the members from across the state joining us for Lobby Wednesday and helping to stand up in favor of the bills we're supporting. Watch this week's Provider Program episode to see what transpired.