On Wednesday, HCAF Members took to the Florida Capitol in order to lobby the State Legislature to take steps that would improve the home care industry in our state. The group of home health professionals, including a strong team sent by BAYADA Home Health Care, met with over 60 legislators to discuss eliminating or lowering the frequency of the home health quarterly report, raising the Medicaid Private Duty Nursing rate for Licensed Practical Nurses, and making sure any new framework for telemedicine includes home health nurses.
The day ended an a high-note, with the Senate Rules Committee adding an amendment to Senate Bill 1254 that would reduce the frequency of the home health quarterly report to twice per year. While HCAF will continue to seek full elimination of this time-consuming and obsolete report, this cuts the chances of providers missing the deadlines and being fined by half. Last year through their work at Legislative Day, HCAF advocates helped reduce the quarterly report fine from an instant $5,000 to $200 per day. It was these advocates’ meetings with members of the Senate Rules Committee (Senators Thrasher, Galvano, Richter, Simpson, Sobel, Margolis, and Negron) that paved the way for achieving this accomplishment. HCAF would also like to thank Senator Denise Grimsley for adding the measure to her bill. Furthermore, on the same day, both the House and Senate passed versions of the state budget including increases to Medicaid PDN LPN rates. Both chambers will seek to rectify some differences between each version before sending it to Governor Rick Scott for approval.
While we are proud of these accomplishments, we hope to have even more participation next year in order to tackle additional measures to improve home health in Florida! We will work to assist you in keeping close watch of future developments and will look to our members for assistance with increased advocacy in their legislators’ home districts.
In addition, HCAF was honored to have Representative Amanda Murphy (D-New Port Richey) as the keynote speaker at our Annual Legislative Briefing Dinner. Rep. Murphy spent ample time speaking and answering questions from members about the state of healthcare in Florida, how she expects home care to fit in, and effective ways of communicating with legislators. HCAF would like to thank Rep. Murphy for giving us ample time in the middle of her busy legislative session schedule!