LeadingAge Florida Statement on Meeting with Senate Democrats on PPS
Tallahassee, Fla. – LeadingAge Florida released the following statement today, attributable to President and CEO Steve Bahmer, regarding a meeting with the Senate Minority Leader to discuss the proposed Prospective Payment System (PPS) plan for nursing homes that is currently included in the Senate budget.
“On behalf of LeadingAge Florida and the high-quality nursing homes that are our members, I want to thank Leader Oscar Braynon for arranging this morning’s meeting to discuss the Medicaid payment plan included in the Florida Senate’s budget. An open discussion of the proposal and its many flaws was long overdue, and we appreciate Leader Braynon’s willingness to have that discussion.
“Leader Braynon and other Senate Democrats asked a number of important questions about how the plan shifts dollars from high-quality nursing homes to lower-quality nursing homes, how payments to nursing homes would be calculated, and what kind of accountability should be required if nursing homes receive additional taxpayer dollars under the plan. These and other critical issues are precisely the questions LeadingAge Florida has been raising about the plan since it first appeared just one month ago.
"An important issue raised during the meeting focused on the lack of transparency and absence of public vetting of this plan, which would institute major policy changes – in the budget – to the way nursing homes are paid for caring for Medicaid residents.
“This meeting demonstrated that there are still major holes in the plan that must be addressed. Chief among them is its complete lack of accountability with taxpayer dollars – there is no requirement in the plan that nursing homes that gain additional dollars have to spend even one dime of that new money on resident care. Because of that, the plan simply does not create an incentive to improve nursing quality.
“This is a concern that LeadingAge Florida has been expressing for months and we appreciate Leader Braynon’s draft amendment, which is an important step toward solving this specific problem with the plan. We also applaud the Florida Health Care Association for finally agreeing include an accountability component in their plan. This has been one of the many major flaws in their plan from the beginning. It won't entirely fix the proposal, but it's a step in the right direction.
“We look forward to continuing to work with members of the Florida Senate and House, as well as fellow stakeholders, on a PPS plan that meets our collective goals of ensuring accountability of taxpayer dollars and providing the highest standard of care for our state’s seniors.”
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