FHCA is pleased to report the Certificate of Need deregulation bill (SB 1144) died in the Senate Health & Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee today. This is good news for long term care providers, as this bill would have weakened Certificate of Need reforms that went into effect just two years ago.
FHCA is thankful to our members for your swift action over these past two weeks. You sent nearly 4,000 emails, made phone calls, helped extend our social media/digital campaign and traveled to Tallahassee to discuss the CON issue in person as part of our Lobby Wednesdays.
Today alone, over 60 members arrived at the Capitol early to meet with members of the Senate Committee and the bill sponsor, Sen. Don Gaetz, to discuss the challenges that could have come with deregulating CON. FHCA filled the room with members from Consulate Health Care, Districts IX and XIII, Signature HealthCARE and Lobby Wednesday co-sponsor Cotler Healthcare and Development, with many of those individuals standing in opposition to the bill. Additionally, FHCA Legislative Committee Vice Chair Kathy Gallin of Signature HealthCARE testified on the association's behalf, expressing our concerns. Your tremendous grassroots activity, combined with the hard work of FHCA's Government Affairs team, made the difference.
In the end, we are thankful to Senate leadership, Sen. Don Gaetz, Chairman Rene Garcia and the members of the Senate Subcommittee for taking time to meet with us, answer our emails/calls, hear our concerns and carefully consider what is best for our state's seniors and you, our members, who provide their care.
Just a few weeks remain until the 2016 session comes to an end. Our work is not yet done, as we continue urging the House to add the repeal of the Medicaid rate freeze into its final budget (the Senate budget already contains the repeal language). Look for more information and an opportunity to convey this message to your Representative in an upcoming alert.
For now, we want to thank you again for your ongoing support of our legislative activity. FHCA is proud to advocate on your behalf.