Home Care Professionals Lobby Lawmakers in Tallahassee

lobbyforhomecareMore than 40 Florida home care professionals descended on the Capitol in Tallahassee this week to lobby state lawmakers on home care industry issues, including the AHCA home health quarterly report and Medicaid reimbursement rates. In total, attendees met with 72 lawmakers, including every legislator that serves on a committee with jurisdiction over health care and spending matters.

Prior to meeting with lawmakers at the Capitol, Representative Matt Hudson (R-Naples) welcomed attendees with a keynote speech highlighting the legislative session and the agenda for health care. Rep. Hudson encouraged attendees to continue their advocacy efforts in an even more effective manner following session when lawmakers are back home in the districts. HCAF is ready to set up your local visit with a lawmaker (including home visits), so please email Kyle Simon if you’re interested in participating.

This session, HCAF has presented three proposals to the Florida Legislature to take up during its 60-day session, which began last week and runs through early May. First, HCAF proposes reducing the AHCA home health quarterly report fine from $5,000 to $200 per day up to $5,000 per quarter, and also exempting licensed-only (private duty) providers. Since its 2009 inception, AHCA has collected more than $6.3 million from home care providers for this administrative report which has no impact on quality of care. Second, HCAF is seeking a 50% increase in reimbursement for Medicaid home health visits provided by a nurse, as well as a 15% rate increase for Medicaid private duty nursing services delivered by an LPN. If approved by lawmakers, the cost to the state is approximately $10 million.

“I had a blast advocating for our industry,” said one attendee. Said another attendee: “It was great to educate our representative and senators as well as a personal learning experience. I truly feel that we made a significant impact with everyone we spoke to. Without these meetings I believe most of our representatives would not know about the struggles of our industry and the proposed legislation.”

A special thank you to the home care professionals who made the trip to Tallahassee to fight for home care…your voices made a difference! If you didn’t join us for this year’s Legislative Day, please consider coming up next time to lobby your lawmakers on issues that impact our industry!

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