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Florida Legislature Advances Home Care Industry Priorities: Tackling Workforce Shortages, Medicaid Reimbursement, and Access to Care

Florida Legislature Advances Home Care Industry Priorities: Tackling Workforce Shortages, Medicaid Reimbursement, and Access to Care

Medicaid Private Duty Government Affairs & Advocacy

On Thursday, February 22, the Florida Senate Committee on Fiscal Policy unanimously approved SB 1798 with a vote of 16-0, marking the final committee hurdle in enacting legislation that enables advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and physician assistants (PAs) to order and receive reimbursement for Medicaid-funded home health services. Sponsored by Senator Jay Trumbull (R-Panama City), SB 1798 now moves to the full Senate for final passage. Last week, the full House of Representatives unanimously passed its companion legislation, HB 935.

Pending approval by the Senate and Governor DeSantis' signature, this measure will align Florida with federal law under the CARES Act, effective July 1, 2024.

Bobby Lolley, RN, Executive Director of HCAF, praised the passage of SB 1798, stating, "Senator Trumbull's leadership and the legislature's support for enabling APRNs and PAs to order and receive reimbursement for Medicaid-funded home health services are commendable. As a result, we are one step closer to expanding and safeguarding access to vital, cost-effective services for our most vulnerable Floridians in the face of physician shortages."

In a resounding victory for health care in Florida, the legislature passed the Live Healthy initiative (SB 7016), committing a substantial $717 million investment to combat provider shortages and drive innovation in the health care sector. This historic legislation, alongside SB 1798/HB 935, reflects a profound commitment to addressing critical priorities identified by HCAF:

  • A $29 million boost in Medicaid reimbursement rates for Medicaid Private Duty Nursing (PDN) services, ensuring a 5% increase in funding. This vital investment lays the foundation for modernizing the PDN program and securing access to essential medical services for our most vulnerable populations.
  • A substantial allocation of $195.8 million to enhance Home and Community-Based Services Waiver (iBudget) provider rates.
  • A $5 million expansion of the Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE) fund, empowering nursing education programs to collaborate with health care providers in addressing workforce shortages. This initiative promises to bolster training for certified nursing assistants (CNAs), registered nurses (RNs), and licensed practical nurses (LPNs), ensuring a robust health care workforce for the future.
  • The enactment of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact, and Physical Therapy Compact, effectively entering Florida into these compacts and enhancing health care accessibility.

For the continually updated listing of state legislation actively monitored by the HCAF policy team, please click here for the members-only legislation tracker. We encourage you to bookmark this page to stay informed about upcoming policy developments.

Amplify the Voice of Home Care: Support the Home Care PAC!

As the 60-day Florida Legislative Session races towards its conclusion, the Home Care Political Action Committee (PAC) urgently calls for industry support ahead of the pivotal 2024 elections.

The PAC is steadfast in its mission to amplify the political voice of the home care sector. By pooling financial resources and backing candidates who champion our interests in Tallahassee, the PAC plays an indispensable role in shaping policies. As an independent, voluntary, non-profit, and non-partisan entity, we operate autonomously from HCAF membership dues and adhere to strict regulations set by the Florida Division of Elections.

Your contribution carries immense weight in empowering Florida's political leaders who advocate for policies that uplift the home care provider community. We welcome contributions from both individuals and businesses, with no limit on contributions.

Please join us in our fundraising campaign for the Home Care PAC, aiming to secure $50,000 for the 2024 elections.

Click here to invest in your profession today!

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