A great deal has been said and written recently about the new Prospective Payment System (PPS) being considered by the Florida Legislature relating to nursing home reimbursements. A critical element struggling to be heard in the “winner-vs.-loser” debate is the well-being of the very seniors we serve. I am thankful to Senator Negron for having the vision to tackle this kind of comprehensive change.
Rather than simply reimbursing nursing homes for the costs they incur, Senator Negron and his colleagues in the Florida Senate created a new system that will incentivize health care outcomes and the investments that are made to improve the quality of lives for our most frail citizens. Many homes like ours have been making these kinds of investments for years, despite the fact that reimbursement levels for Medicaid patients cover less than what it costs to care for them. Rarely are resources available to upgrade technology or common areas where families can visit in privacy and comfort.
The legislation being considered in Tallahassee smartly anticipates that some homes will need time to adjust to a new system. The three-year transition period and appropriation in the proposal will put us all on a level playing field. I’m thankful to Senator Negron for putting nursing home residents first, as he has always done. As they consider the state budget in these final days of session, the residents and caregivers at Salerno Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center want to encourage our legislative leaders to do the right thing. Pass a Prospective Payment System for nursing center reimbursement and make quality the focus for Florida’s oldest residents.