News from the Avamere Family of Companies
2012 Legislative Session Comes to a Close, Medicaid Cuts Avoided
With a single day left in their constitutionally dictated schedule, the Oregon Legislative Assembly adjourned its 2012 Legislative Session late this evening, March 5th. Following final weekend negotiations, legislators met Monday morning, afternoon and evening to come to an agreement on the budget and several outstanding issues.
Oregon's long term care delivery system fared significantly better than other program areas in the state budget. Throughout the legislative session, OHCA lobbyists were actively involved in budget deliberations with legislative leaders and the Governor's staff on recommended strategies to address the Medicaid long term care budget shortfalls.
The 2011-2013 budget reconciliation outlined in SB 5701 will maintain existing Medicaid rates for long term care services through at least March 31, 2013. This includes Medicaid-funded services for nursing facilities, community-based care facilities, and in-home care agencies. Funding for the last quarter of the 2011-2013 biennium will be addressed through one of several different contingencies. Click here for a link to the entire final budget agreement agreed upon by legislative leaders.
Options to address the remaining shortfall include restoring the $13.4 million with funds from subsequent revenue forecasts, if forecasted revenue increases by $25 million or more. Another option would identify opportunities to increase federal matching dollars under Oregon's Medicaid waiver or state plan. Barring either of these options being successful, efforts to restore funds would then focus on future actions by the Legislative Emergency Board or in the initial months of the 2013 Legislative session to close any remaining funding gap.
OHCA lobbyists will compile and distribute a comprehensive end of session 2012 legislative report for members in the coming days. This report will include a detailed description of all legislation pertinent to long term care providers considered during the short 2012 legislative session, as well as a detailed overview of the state budget and the impact on long term care providers. Please watch your mailbox for this report in mid-March.
For more information on these or other state issues affecting Oregon's long term care providers, please visit our website at http://www.ohca.com/advocacy/ or contact Dale Penn at firstname.lastname@example.org.