Emmett Reed, executive director of the Florida Health Care Association, issued the following statement after the House Health and Human Services Committee addressed the reimbursement system for skilled nursing centers in proposed committee bill 17-03:
“While we are pleased the committee recognizes the importance of ensuring that skilled nursing centers receive prompt reimbursement for the crucial services they provide to elders, we remain deeply troubled by language in the bill that would require our centers to negotiate rates with managed care companies. Nursing center care for Medicaid residents is already significantly underfunded, and giving managed care companies the ability to reduce those rates even further would jeopardize the care of our state’s seniors. Centers would be left with no choice but to cut services that our residents depend on to enhance their quality of life.
“Today’s reimbursement system fails to adequately reward nursing centers for providing high quality care, for being efficient users of tax dollars, and for investing in improvements to their facilities. Florida’s seniors, and the providers who care for them, would be best served by the prospective payment system that provides strong incentives for quality and a multi-year transition period to give providers time to adapt. This approach was adopted yesterday by the Senate Appropriations Committee, and we urge the House to move in a similar direction.”