Session Update #1

January 12, 2018

The first week is always a little chaotic – this year it has been especially so due in large part to the late decision on House Membership and, therefore, who would be Speaker.  The Speaker of many years, William Howell, has retired; the presumptive replacement, Kirk Cox, was all set to organized the House until there were contested elections right up to the end of last week!  Two things have happened to change the landscape – the Republicans have the narrowest of margins in both chambers and many long term members in the House are no longer there.  There will be proportional membership on the committees and many new committee assignments and chairmanships.  It will be a little bumpy, but we hope will soon settle.  Oh, and did I say the whole thing is happening in a brand new building that no one can find their way around! The VNPP budget amendments are in – we will share the exact language when they post next week.  And the resolution on DSPs has “dropped.” See the text here! The budget amendment to protect “center-based” respite from the EVV process is in and I have great confidence that it will be included in the final budget; we did, however, hear this week that CMS never intended that the EVV requirement would only ally to “personal care” as a specific service.  Rather, they intended that EVV apply to all services delivered in the individual’s home – personal care, companion, respite, and In-Home.  DMAS has not, yet, made any move to change their definitions – stay tuned.