Proposed Budget Moves Ohio Forward In Care Of Elderly And Disabled

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Increases for in-home and skilled nursing facility funding improve continuum-of-care approach.

Statement from Alan Melamed, spokesman for Skilled Nursing Care Coalition, on the House Finance Committee release of the revised biennial budget:

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"The revised budget passed today by the Ohio House of Representatives signals a new day in Ohio, as the state is poised to take significant steps in funding a better continuum-of-care approach for Ohio's rapidly aging population and the increasing needs of the disabled. Both the governor and the House of Representatives have recognized the Medicaid reimbursement realities associated with providing a range of care options for our most vulnerable population, from in-home services to skilled nursing facilities.

"Throughout this budget process, the Skilled Nursing Care Coalition has consistently supported the governor's efforts to expand the PASSPORT program, which will enable more people to remain home longer, and we endorse the House's proposed increase in the rate of reimbursement for PASSPORT providers. We also have pointed out that this expansion will not reduce the need to provide adequate reimbursement for the care provided in skilled nursing facilities, since the needs of the populations served are different.

"While this proposed budget does provide some additional reimbursement for skilled nursing facilities, the level of proposed funding is still less than was spent four years ago. Of course, the costs of hiring and retaining dedicated employees to provide quality care has risen during that time, as have other costs that are not being adequately reimbursed.

"We appreciate the advances that have been made in this phase of the budget deliberations, and we will continue to discuss the need for additional reimbursement to enable skilled nursing facilities to serve the patients in those locations."

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