Friday, April 6, 2012

State Successes Spell Victory for Seniors

While things have slowed down in DC, spring is a busy time in most states.  With short legislative sessions coming to a close and long sessions reaching their half-way point, AHCA/NCAL state affiliates are working around the clock to ensure that providers have the resources they need to care for our most vulnerable population. We’ve heard from numerous states about their ongoing efforts to battle Medicaid cuts or restore funding, and the results are impressive.

Arizona had a double win for providers during their session. Just last night Governor Jan Brewer signed into law House Bill 2526, which authorizes the state to implement a provider assessment fee (AKA quality assessment fee or bed tax) to all providers. Put simply, the assessment will allow the state to generate additional revenue and federal matching funds for Medicaid to more adequately fund care for patients. The Arizona Health Care Association was also successful in passing House Bill 2560, which will remove automatic attorney fees under the Adult Protective Services Statute, thereby diminishing the profit motive for inappropriate and unwarranted litigation in long term care.

New Mexico gained $8.1 million in general funds and, with the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), a total of a $26 million increase in the state’s Medicaid budget for long term care. With an approximate $200 million Medicaid base, this equates to more than a 10% increase, a huge win for New Mexico’s facilities and their residents. Through their efforts to raise awareness about New Mexico’s chronic underfunding of Medicaid, the New Mexico Health Care Association (NMHCA) worked alongside Governor Suzanna Martinez to include the $8.1 million appropriation in her budget, which was earmarked exclusively for skilled nursing centers.

Learn more about state wins for long term care in Pennsylvania, Florida and South Dakota in Governor Parkinson’s monthly video address to members.

What were the successes for seniors in your state?

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