We Have a Conference Report (Which Likely Means “We have a Budget!)

October 15, 2020

While the decision reached yesterday between the House and the Senate conferees will likely pass in both Houses, it may be a “little too spendy” for the Governor who has been trying to retain cash balances to hedge against any further downturn in the State’s economy.  That decision will come a bit later!  For the moments, however, this the current proposal meets most of our “asks!”

The selected items that we list below are attached here.

300 #1c – Requires medical facilities to allow designated persons to accompany or visit disabled patients
313 #4c – Live-in caretaker exemption to EVV requirements
313 #6c – Modify effective date for Medicaid Adult Dental Benefit from 1 January, 2021 to 1 July, 2021
313 #9c – Modify effective date of DD Waiver Rate Increase (Refresh):
     – For Group Home, Sponsored Residential & Group Day to 1 January, 2021 (see 482.20 #28c)
     – For Independent Living, Supported Living, In-Home, Group Supported Employment, Workplace        Assistance, Community Engagement and Community Coaching and Therapeutic Consultation to 1 July, 2021 (see 482.20 #29c)
313 #12c – Modify effective date of Skilled and Private Duty Nursing rate increase to 1 July, 2021
313 #14c – Allow telehealth and virtual learning for Group Day, Supported Employment and Benefits Planning for the duration of the EO or until the expiration of the Appendix K

482.2 #3c – Restore Mental Health provider rates to 110% of Medicare
482.20 #12c – Restore funds for Medicaid rate setting analysis (for increases to meet minimum wage changes)
482.20 #15c – Restore funds for permanent supportive housing
482.20 #27c – Restore funds for Behavioral Health Redesign in July 2021
482.20 #30c – Restore funding for Psychiatric Residential Treatment facility rates
482.20 #43c – Restore funding for 250 DD Waiver slots which were an amendment to the original budget

Of our “asks” to the conferees, we were mostly successful – they did allow virtual for group day (already allowed for Community Engagement), retainer payments fro Coronavirus Relief Funds and included the rate refresh in two stages, but without contingencies.   Critical for us is the restoration of the rate analysis to account for minimum wage increases, restoration of “redesign” funds and mental health provider rates (outpatient services).