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Governor's Budget Proposal: Increase Medicaid Home Care Reimbursement Rates

Governor's Budget Proposal: Increase Medicaid Home Care Reimbursement Rates

Medicaid Government Affairs & Advocacy

Governor Ron DeSantis released his 2022-23 budget proposal for the Florida Legislature's consideration. The Freedom First budget totals $99.7 billion, with total reserves exceeding $15 billion. The budget focuses on preserving freedom and prosperity for Floridians with record funding for education, environmental resources, and law enforcement.

The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) issued a press release to highlight health care funding proposals, stating that the budget recommendations will "empower [AHCA] to prioritize patients and providers, empower consumers, and promote high-quality care for all Floridians."

Specific to the home care sector, the proposal would appropriate $198 million to invest in the direct care workforce.

As Florida continues to lead, it is vital that we ensure that our healthcare workforce is taken care of as they have taken care of us during this challenging time. The Freedom First Budget includes $226.5 million through increased rates to support higher pay for direct care staff in Home and Community Based Settings in the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. These individuals have continued to answer the call and provide services to some of our most vulnerable residents.

The Governor’s budget fully funds the Medicaid program and invests an additional $10 million to serve over 1,000 seniors to receive services through the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative and the Community Care for Elderly Program. These programs will support activities of daily living, medical assistance, and caregiver support to keep seniors in their homes.

Other highlights from Governor DeSantis’ budget recommendations for AHCA include:

  • Nearly $4 million to increase transparency in prescription drug prices
  • More than $167 million to strengthen Florida’s growing health care industry
  • Fully funding Florida’s hospitals and long-term care facilities that continue to provide high-quality care while facing unprecedented workforce challenges
  • $120 million to prioritize technology initiatives that promote coordinated care

Following the unveiling of the proposal, HCAF Executive Director Bobby Lolley applauded Governor DeSantis in a public statement. “The Freedom First Budget invests critically needed state dollars in Medicaid home- and community-based services," said Lolley. "The Florida home care community commends Governor DeSantis for his leadership to protect access to high-quality, cost-effective in-home care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

The Florida Legislature will convene its annual 60-day legislative session on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, during which lawmakers will finalize the state's budget that will start July 1. HCAF's top priority this upcoming session is to secure an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates for home-based care to cover the $15 minimum wage increase. Since Amendment 2 was passed by voters in the 2020 election, HCAF's policy team has conducted dozens of meetings with policymakers — including aides of Governor DeSantis, lawmakers, and AHCA leaders — to propel the issue into the 2022 legislative session.

Join HCAF and home care advocates to meet with lawmakers and their staff to advance our priorities at Home Care Day at the Capitol on January 18-19. Click here to learn more and register.

Additionally, make your voice heard now by contacting your lawmakers by email and on social media. Click here to take action using the HCAF Legislative Action Center. The process is quick and easy, and your voice makes a difference.

Watch the Governor's budget proposal announcement below.

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