MHCA Advocacy Update: 131st Legislative Session is Off to a Productive Start

On Thursday, January 26th, MHCA President/CEO Angela Westhoff testified before the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Joint Standing Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee on the Governor's proposed Supplemental Budget. 

Angela spoke in support of the budget and the additional $25 million one-time COVID Supplemental payment for long term care facilities: “We are grateful that this Supplemental Budget proposal includes an additional $25 million in one-time funding in the form of COVID Supplemental Payments to long term care providers. This builds upon the prior supplemental payment installments to help address the increased costs of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing, medical supplies, etc. Continuing this program is very important. We would also like to express our appreciation to the Department for their collaboration in amending the criteria and timelines to assist facilities in earning more of these supplemental payments.” 

Angela further spoke about the issues that our industry continue to face and how more support & funding is necessary to continue providing quality care. “As the session moves ahead this $25 million is a great start, but additional supports will be needed as a bridge until a new funding model is available - which will likely not be until 2025. The risk of not addressing this $60 million shortfall is that additional facilities will close and access to long term care will further deteriorate.”

MHCA also testified before the HHS Committee during their work session on January 31st. The committee unanimously voted to include the $25 million in its report back to the Appropriations Committee. In response to MHCA's request, the committee also included an amendment to extend the deadline for the first $25 million in supplemental funding to be used through June 30, 2024. The Appropriations Committee is expected to vote out the Supplemental Budget within the next couple of weeks, and the funding will be distributed not long afterward. 

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