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LeadingAge Florida, FLiCRA, & Nursing Home Advocates
Urge Caution with Proposed PPS Plan

Tallahassee, Fla. – LeadingAge Florida and Florida Life Care Residents Association (FLiCRA) were joined by advocates of nursing homes from around the state today at a press conference to voice concern over a prospective payment system (PPS) plan that is being considered by the Florida Senate.

“LeadingAge Florida is focused on the delivery of high-quality nursing home care and we oppose the proposed PPS plan, as it will have a negative impact on the nursing homes in our state that are providing the highest-quality care to Florida seniors,” said Steve Bahmer, president & CEO of LeadingAge Florida. “LeadingAge Florida supports the transition to a prospective payment system, but we simply can’t support this one. If it is approved, it will have the very real effect of four- and five-star nursing homes losing substantial amounts of money, while lower-performing facilities will see windfall gains – one to the tune of more than $15 million.”

“Additionally, it is important to point out that the vast majority of the increase contemplated in this budget recommendation goes to facility and property improvements, not toward the care of our state’s seniors,” continued Bahmer. “For these reasons, I am joined here today by representatives from some of Florida’s best nursing homes, as well as residents and FLiCRA, and, together, we respectfully call on lawmakers to send this proposed plan back to the drawing board, in order for all groups to come to an equitable, fair solution that doesn’t punish the highest-quality nursing homes in the state.”

LeadingAge Florida, FLiCRA, and nursing home advocates oppose the PPS model that was included in the budget recommendation adopted by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and will be taken up by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, as it would negatively affect high-quality nursing homes by shifting resources from high-quality nursing home communities to primarily lower-quality facilities.

“On average, our facility has a Medicaid census of close to 70 percent, which translates into 172 seniors, and under the proposed PPS system, we would lose $1.7 million – $200,000 more than we would have lost under the shelved Navigant plan; this is a cost we simply cannot afford and one that would be devastating to our core mission of caring for the sick and dying,” said Kip Corriveau, director of Mission at Bon Secours St. Petersburg Health System. “I ask lawmakers prioritize quality care for our state’s most vulnerable and fragile seniors, whose families have entrusted their care to us, by deferring the proposed PPS system until a fair solution that truly cares for seniors can be reached.”

The proposed PPS plan would make funding cuts to 152 four- and five-star nursing homes, while 97 one- and two-star nursing home facilities would receive additional funding.

“Menorah Manor is a mission-driven, charitable, nonprofit, faith-based organization that strives to provide the highest standards of care, and our doors are open to everyone – regardless of ability to pay, which means our Medicaid census on average is roughly 65 percent,” said Rob Goldstein, CEO of Menorah Manor. “Yet, under the PPS plan included in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services budget recommendations, our facility, along with other high-quality providers, would lose significant funding if the legislature cannot guarantee new funding for Medicaid reimbursement for the next three years. Moreover, this proposed PPS plan lacks any requirement that providers who receive new money under the plan have to spend it on care, programs or services. I respectfully ask, on behalf of the residents we are committed to caring for, the legislature rejects this plan.”

“As a resident of Westminster Woods, a continuing care retirement community in Julington Creek, Fla., and an executive committee officer with FLiCRA, I stand in opposition to the current proposed PPS plan,” said Ramsey Geyer, Westminster Woods resident, FLiCRA executive committee member. “This plan, as currently constructed, will almost certainly result in a Medicaid funding shortfall, which puts continuing care retirement community residents at risk, including those residents who are Medicaid recipients. I ask the legislature to consider alternative solutions that would provide fair funding across the board and not shift costs burdens on the backs of high-quality nursing home providers, and thus the residents they serve.”

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For 54 years, LeadingAge Florida has served as an association of more than 250 mission-driven communities, including many of the highest rated nursing homes affected by the plan inserted into the Senate budget. LeadingAge Florida is proud to serve quality leaders who devote themselves to creating a culture of excellence that motivates and inspires others throughout the aging continuum. LeadingAge Florida’s members are trusted with providing quality care and services to Florida’s seniors. LeadingAge Florida promotes practices that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.

Florida Life Care Residents Association (FLiCRA) is a statewide non-profit association of residents living in Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). Under the leadership of volunteer residents and a dedicated staff in Tallahassee, FLiCRA is a recognized voice before the legislature and state regulatory agencies. The mission of FLiCRA is to promote and protect the rights of the 30,000 residents who live in CCRC's. FLiCRA accomplishes its mission through its relationship with legislators and state agencies.

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