Gov. Rick Scott today vetoed Medicaid rate increases for home health services and private duty nursing services that were included in the final budget proposed by the Florida Legislature. As we reported earlier this month at the adjournment of the annual legislative session, the $74 billion state budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year included 10% rate increases for home health services provided by an RN and LPN, and private duty nursing services provided by an LPN. The cost for the two increases would have been $213,652 and $9,384,984, respectively. We do recognize that Gov. Scott opted to keep the 322-slot expansion of the Nursing Home Diversion Waiver program.
We can only surmise why such a small but much needed increase was not granted. It shows yet still how much work has to be done to convince the powers that be of what should be obvious to all. The cost effectiveness of home care is critical to answering every health care problem that the nation and the state of Florida faces, however we cannot meet those needs unless funding is adequate. We will continue trying to help them realize what they will be forced to accept eventually, which is that health care delivered in the community and in the home is the only way to adequately address the growing health care needs of Floridians.