Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Governor's Budget Preserves Medicaid Funding for Nursing Center Residents

Yesterday, Governor Rick Scott proposed a $83.5 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18. The Governor’s budget provides full funding for nursing center Medicaid rates as projected by the December 7, 2016 Social Services Estimating Conference. The budget also directs AHCA to implement the Nursing Center Prospective Payment System as recommended by the Agency/Navigant. 

The budget also includes additional funds for AHCA to improve the Background Screening Clearinghouse, which will speed up the hiring process for new employees.

It's important to note that hospitals are subject to over $929 million in cuts to Medicaid rates under the proposed budget as a result of the removal of inflationary adjustments, the elimination of supplemental payments for charity care to not-for-profit hospitals and by allowing Medicaid managed care plans to negotiate lower rates for hospitals.

FHCA Executive Director Emmett Reed thanked Governor Scott for his continued support of quality care and services for Florida's frailest elders. "We appreciate him fully funding Medicaid for nursing center services and for initiating the dialogue on the creation of a Prospective Payment System, said Reed. "In addition, his 'Fighting for Florida’s Future' Budget will help to further streamline the background screening process, allowing qualified employees applying at our centers to enter the long term care workforce faster so they can more quickly begin caring for residents."

On a broader level, the Governor’s budget recommends $618 million in tax cuts, including sales taxes on commercial leases, a sales tax exemption on college textbooks, a 10–day sales tax holiday for school supplies, and a nine-day disaster preparedness sales tax holiday. For details on the Governor’s FY 2017-18 budget, click here

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