Legislative Updates

Legislative Weekly Report


POSTED IN: Legislative Updates,

By Jorgen Schlemeier

MOCEP Leg Report for week ending 2015 04-16

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Budget Update

The Senate and House have all the ingredients for a melt down over the budget, but I predict it will be short lived and the budget will pass on time.

The dispute continues over the lump sum budgeting, aka “pooling,” which gives the governor tremendous flexibility on how to spend the money in the budget; the conversion of the portion of the state in a fee for service Medicaid system to Medicaid Managed Care; and finally the 6% reductions in Medicaid and 4% in Health and Senior Services. This may remind you a bit of the federal issue we are experiencing with Medicare where Congress is attempting to balance the program’s costs on the backs of providers.

While the Senate Appropriations Chairman’s intention is not to cut provider rates, and in fact has concurred with the House on a rate increase, the budget as passed by the Senate likely produces a different result.

The House has dug in against the Senate’s position and interest groups and providers are calling anyone they can find to block the Senate proposal and restore line item budgeting and restoring the money reduced by the Senate.

The Senate’s version of the budget includes the Regional Coordination Super User project and granted a 3% rate increase for ED Physicians beginning January 1, 2016 (half way into the new fiscal year), both of which are good.

The Governor added some relief late last week when he announced an upgrade to the States fiscal picture by increasing anticipated revenues by $80M. That will be enough to backfill most of the reductions made by the Senate, which many believe will be felt primarily by providers receiving lower rates. The legislature is not too eager at this point to use that money.

ACTION NEEDED:

Senators Needing Contact – [Contact Information] -ask them to reinstate line item budgeting for each service/provider (i.e dental or pharmacy or in home etc.) and reverse the “pooling” idea.

Dan Brown – Camden, Crawford, Dent, Phelps and Pulaski –

Mike Kehoe – Counties of Cole, Gasconade, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan and Osage –

Talking PointsRates for ED Physicians are already unbelievably low (approx. $25) AND the 6% cut in Medicaid and 4% cut in Mental Health approved will impact provider rates. ED Physicians HAVE TO TREAT ALL patients that come to the ED, unlike other providers who can simply choose not to take Medicaid. We do not have that option. We would ask that you vote to reverse the cuts in conference.

 

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