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HCAF's Influential Advocacy Leaves Mark on 2024 Florida Legislative Session

HCAF's Influential Advocacy Leaves Mark on 2024 Florida Legislative Session

Medicare Medicaid Private Duty Government Affairs & Advocacy

The 2024 Florida Legislative Session concluded on March 8 after 60 days of intensive deliberations, marking significant victories for both HCAF and the broader home care provider community.

HCAF's strategic planning played a pivotal role in these successes, with the organization outlining its legislative priorities well in advance of the session. This groundwork set the stage for effective advocacy efforts, notably highlighted during the highly engaged Home Care Day at the Capitol on January 25. At this event, 36 industry advocates engaged with over 80 state lawmakers, showcasing unprecedented levels of participation and positioning HCAF to effectively represent the industry's needs.

These advocacy efforts bore fruit, resulting in several noteworthy achievements:

  • Authorization for non-physician practitioners to prescribe Medicaid home health services, scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2024.
  • $29 million for a Medicaid home health reimbursement rate increase for private duty nursing (PDN) services.
  • $195.8 million for a uniform Home and Community-Based Services (iBudget) waiver provider rate increase.
  • $5 million to expand the Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE) fund, which supports nursing education programs collaborating with health care providers to address workforce needs, including training certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs).

Additionally, HCAF advocated for and achieved successful legislation facilitating Florida's participation in the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact and the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact. These measures aim to enhance access to specialized care for patients receiving home health services.

Throughout the session, HCAF's policy team remained vigilant, closely monitoring numerous bills with potential implications for providers and patient access. With only 325 of the 1,957 introduced bills passing both chambers (a 16% success rate), HCAF's proactive approach ensured the organization remained a powerful advocate for the home care community throughout the complex legislative process.

While these achievements mark a considerable victory for Medicaid providers and recipients, HCAF eagerly looks forward to revisiting the policymaking table during the 2025 legislative session to secure legislative victories for our Medicare-certified home health agency members. We aim to streamline regulations that currently impede providers from leveraging contract nurses for specific patient visits, just one component of a multifaceted strategy to address the ongoing health care workforce shortage.

For a detailed analysis of the 2024 Florida Legislative Session's impact on home care, we invite you to explore HCAF's annual report. This comprehensive document provides insights into successfully enacted legislation and proposals that did not advance, offering valuable perspectives on the legislative landscape.

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