State budget vote on Medicaid budget provisions

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Last Thursday, the Joint Finance Committee considered Medicaid programs in the state budget. The Republican members of the Committee approved a wide-ranging omnibus motion Thursday night that, among other things, inserts legislative oversight over Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to impose work requirements for Medicaid, nearly doubles payments to hospitals that serve a large share of low-income individuals and expands Family Care Partnership statewide.

Note: Many proposals that our coalitions supported were approved, including a 2% increase in the person care rate, funding to eliminate waiting lists for the Childrens Long Term Support Medicaid waiver, expand the Child Psychiatry Consultation Program, and expand the dementia care specialists program. This is a good time to say thank you to legislators on the Joint Finance committee.

The committee also voted to do the following:

  • Provide more than $400,000 in state funds to eliminate a waiting list for children with developmental and physical disabilities;

  • Increase reimbursement rates for nursing homes and personal care workers by 2 percent a year;

  • Provide $25 million in state funding for direct care workers in the Family Care program;

  • Expand Family Care Partnership statewide;

  • Provide $1 million for the child psychiatry consultation program;

  • Provide $2.7 million in state funding for dementia care specialists;

  • Increase state spending on Disproportionate Share Hospital payments from $15 million a year to $27.5 million and increasing the maximum a single hospital can receive from $2.5 million in state and federal funds to $4.6 million. The motion also provides $500,000 in state funds over the biennium for rural hospitals that would otherwise meet the criteria for Disproportionate Share Hospitals but do not provide obstetric services;

  • Provide $2.3 million for hospitals and health systems for intensive care coordination services for frequent Medicaid users of their emergency department;

  • Preserve an assessment on ambulatory surgical centers that Walker had proposed repealing;

  • Provide $1.5 million for graduate medical training programs;

  • Provide $1 million for training allied health professionals;

  • Provide $1 million in grants for hospitals and clinics that provide new training opportunities for “advanced practice clinicians;”

  • Provide $1 million for local health departments to control and prevent communicable diseases;

  • Require DHS to develop a proposal for a “physical medicine” pilot program;

  • Allow a nursing home to add 18 beds as long as it meets certain criteria including: a licensed bed capacity of no more than 30; located in a county with a population of at least 27,000 with a county seat of no more than 9,200 and the home county is adjacent to a county with a population of at least 20,000.

Citation: This overview is from an article in the Wisconsin Health News.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on May 30, 2017

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