Proposed legislation needed to implement the Governor’s Recommended Biennium Budget for FY 2014 and FY 2015 was released this morning.
Bill No. 6367 contains statutory language pertaining to human service programs administered by the Department of Social Services (“DSS”) including Medicaid. Section 6 of Bill No. 6367 addresses nursing facility rates over the biennium. The proposed language provides DSS with broad discretion to reduce payment rates beginning July 1, 2013. Specifically, Bill No. 6367 would add the following to the nursing facility rate-setting section of Connecticut General Statutes:
For the fiscal years ending June 30, 2014, and June 30, 2015, rates shall not exceed those in effect for the period ending June 30, 2013. Any facility that would have been issued a lower rate for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, or fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, due to rebasing, available appropriations, interim rate status or agreement with the department, shall be issued such lower rate.
The proposed language in Bill No. 6367 that provides DSS with maximum rate-setting discretion is not unique to nursing facility rates. Bill No. 6367 also gives the department rate setting latitude with regard to payment rates for ICF/MRs (Sec. 7), group homes (Sec.8) and residential care homes (Sec. 9). Section 11 of Bill No, 6367, sets forth diagnosis based payment rates for inpatient and outpatient hospital services.
The budget document released yesterday suggests a proposed decrease of approximately 1.2% to nursing facility rates effective July 1, 2014; however, Bill No. 6367 does not add clarity to the rate method that the department would use to implement recommended budget.