Update on Legislative Activities

Yesterday, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee reviewed language for its Supplemental Budget report back the Appropriations Committee. This is very important for our industry.  
As you know, we have grave concerns that the $10 million ($3 Million general funds) in the Governor's Supplemental Budget for nursing home rate reform is not enough. Our ask is $31 million general funds so that with associated federal match would get us to the $96.5 million shortfall (per 2022 cost reports). We continue to point out to lawmakers that there is no funding proposed in the Supplemental Budget for residential care facility rate reform. 
I would also mention that there is no specific work happening on residential care rate reform at this time, but since its rate reform model is taking effect later in 2025, we anticipate that budget allocation will be worked on over the next budget cycle. 
The current proposed Supplemental Budget lines 161-163 are specific to NF rate reform. The HHS Committee voted “in” the current lines as proposed, but all agreed that the proposed funding level is insufficient. The Democrats on HHS voted to include language in their report back to the Appropriations Committee to include more funding and determine what amount is appropriate to meet the needs and prevent closures. 
Further, the Republicans have a minority report that would specifically increase the $3 million general funds to $31 million general funds and the associated federal match. This is a good outcome and puts us in a position to keep fighting for more funding. Our advocacy focus now needs to be on the Appropriations Committee. More to come on that! 
In addition, in the Supplemental budget there is language in part UU, which refers to the previously approved $29 million from the last biennial budget. This amount is equal to the amount anticipated for rebasing and this language allows the Department to split this into two parts and provide a supplemental payment this summer and the rest would be used for rate reform, which is scheduled for January 2025. This also keeps the doors open to further discussion on funding and as we provide feedback on the proposed new rate model – see related article on that. 
Our website and coalition activities will be gearing up and an advocacy toolkit for members is in final stages and will be disseminated this week. Please reach out with any questions! 
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