Posts Tagged ‘Medicaid’

Florida’s 1115 MMA Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) Waiver Amendment

September 25, 2014

The Agency for Health Care Administration (the Agency) is seeking federal authority to amend Florida’s 1115 MMA Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) Waiver (Project Number 11-W-002064) to allow certain populations who were previously excluded from the MMA program to voluntarily enroll.

The proposed amendment will allow for Medicaid-eligible recipients residing in group home facilities licensed under Section 393.067, Florida Statutes, as well as Medicaid-eligible children receiving Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC) services to become eligible to voluntarily enroll in Florida’s MMA program, a component of the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program. This amendment is being submitted to implement Florida Law that allows recipients residing in a group home facility and children receiving PPEC services to voluntarily enroll in Florida’s MMA program upon federal approval.

The proposed amendment will:

  • Ensure continuity of care and allow these group home residents access to expanded benefits offered by the plans;
  • Allow for those children receiving PPEC services and currently enrolled in the Children’s Medical Services Network or another managed care plan to remain in that plan without disruption of services, ensuring their continuity of care and ensuring children will be able to take advantage of the higher plan standards required and the expanded benefits offered by the plans.

The Agency is conducting a 30-day public notice and public comment period that takes place between September 17, 2014 and October 17, 2014.  Please visit the MMA Federal Authorities page for more information on the public meetings, information for submitting comments, and to view a comprehensive description of the waiver amendment request.

The Agency is hosting a public meeting to solicit public input on the amendment of Florida’s 1115 Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) Waiver.   On September 17, 2014, the Agency published the following public meeting notice in the Florida Administrative Register.

The notice invites all interested parties to the public meetings and provides the meeting dates, times, and locations.  Individuals who will be unable to attend the meeting in person can participate via conference call by using the toll free number provided in the FAR notice. During the meetings, the Agency will provide an overview of the provisions in Part IV of Chapter 409, Florida Statutes, related to the MMA program; a description of the amendment request; and time for public comments.

The 1115 MMA Waiver Amendment Public Meeting will be held on

Monday, September 29, 2014; from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Agency for Health Care Administration
6800 North Dale Mabry Highway
Main Training Room
Tampa, FL 33614

Conference Line: 1-888-670-3525

Participant Code: 4201652735 #

Mail comments and suggestions to: 

1115 MMA Waiver Amendment Request
Office of the Deputy Secretary for Medicaid
Agency for Health Care Administration
2727 Mahan Drive, MS #8
Tallahassee, Florida 32308

E-mail comments and suggestions to: FLMedicaidWaivers@ahca.myflorida.com  with “1115 MMA Waiver Amendment Request” referenced in the subject line.

Important Home Care Measures Near Final Votes as State Legislative Session Closes-in on Finish Line

April 25, 2014

 

Several measures moving through the Florida Legislature which would impact home health are on the home stretch, reaching the floors of the House and Senate for votes this week and next, prior to the May 3rd end of the Legislative Session. HCAF has been working hard as each bill moves through the process to advocate for changes to the law which will benefit the home care industry in Florida. See below for the status of each issue:

Reduction of Quarterly Report to Twice-Per-Year /Elimination of Report Requirement for License-Only Agencies
HCAF has been working diligently to eliminate the unfair and burdensome home health quarterly report. With lawmakers and regulators currently unwilling to completely get rid of the report, we continue to make it easier and less punitive on our members. Last year, HCAF was successful in reducing the fine for missing the reporting deadline from $5,000 to $200 per day. This year, our language that would reduce the report to twice-per-year and require it only for certified agencies is up for a final vote in the House of Representatives today as part of HB 7105. The Senate companion, SB 1254, is scheduled for a vote next week.

Raising the Medicaid Private-Duty LPN Rate
Without a rate increase in over 27 years, providing Medicaid home health in Florida has become cost prohibitive to most agencies. Although the legislature approved an increase last year, the measure was vetoed by Governor Rick Scott. This year, the legislature has agreed to over an additional $11 million dollars to increase the Private Duty Nursing rate for LPNs who serve Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care patients. These medically fragile children are some of home care’s neediest patients and this increase would go a long way to assisting agencies in being able to better cover costs when treating them now and in the future.

Eliminating Accreditation Requirements for License-Only Personal Care
Early this week, an amendment was added to SB 1254 that would eliminate accreditation requirements for non-Medicare/Medicaid certified agencies that do not provide any skilled care. This would have a large impact on this sector of the industry, due to the large costs of earning and maintaining accreditation In addition this requirement is a significant hurdle for those non-skilled, non-certified providers who wish to sell their businesses.  In the past, HCAF’s members have been on the fence when it came to whether they felt this business model should require accreditation, therefore HCAF has not previously taken a position on the measure. The bill could be placed on the calendar to appear on the Senate Floor anytime next week and we are watching it closely.

Nurse Registries Business Model Clarification
Another measure ready for a final vote would clarify the Nurse Registry business model within Florida Statute. Specifically, it defines workers as independent contractors that are not employees of the registry. SB 976 and HB 1179 are both ready for a final vote in the Senate and House as soon as today. While HCAF supports our Nurse Registry members, we feel this is a matter that will be decided at the Federal level and that such actions on the state level will have little or no impact. However, HCAF will continue its vigorous opposition in the national arena against certain aspects of the Federal Employer Mandate and the pending elimination of the Companionship Exemption.

HCAF will continue to work for measures that will help our industry and will be reporting the outcome of all changes made by the legislature which will affect home health in both our online communications and at our 2014 Spring District Meetings.

New York Times Article Depicts Major Pitfalls in Managed Long-Term Programs

March 14, 2014

While the Florida Managed Long-Term Care (LTC) program is still in the roll-out stage, the New York Times released an article March 6th detailing the difficulties experienced by patients and and the governments in other states with established care systems.

Many states, including Florida, have seen costs for LTC explode in the last few years due to a rapidly aging population. While this move to manages care could benefit home care, ending the long stranglehold the nursing home industry has had on caring for Medicaid patients, the article reveals many Americans who are unable to qualify for any kind of care in a way for managed care entities to preserve profits.

HCAF is closely monitoring the Managed Long Term Care program in Florida and will continue to advocate for the use of home and community based care. Solving the problems associated with our State’s growing elderly population will not be easy, but we continue to stress the importance of serving seniors in their preferred setting, which is also the most cost-effective: their home.

Click here to read the New York Times Article.

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