Volume XXX, Number 6
State Budget Heading To Governor’s Desk
The Legislature passed the state’s budget for the FY16-17 Biennium last week, just three days before adjourning their 84th Session.
The budget did not include any change in nursing facility rates and as a result, nursing home providers did not receive an increase in Medicaid rates.
By a vote of 115-33 in the House and 30-1 in the Senate, legislators approved the plan submitted days before by the Conference Committee on the budget. That powerful ten member panel reconciled differences between budgets passed in earlier in session by each chamber .
It was noted across Article II (the health and human services section of the budget) budget decisions that the conferees showed an aversion to increased spending, especially on Medicaid. Conferees reduced spending for Medicaid in the Health and Humans Services Commission (HHSC) and the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) by $135 million from the bill as filed.
With the exception of a minimal increase for ICF/IDD and HCS programs and home / community care attendant wages, provider rate increases were limited to hospital funding as part of the state’s need to address the 1115 Waiver renewal/extension issue.
With other state priorities, including a compromise tax relief package, and concerns over future state revenue estimates from the oil and gas industry may have made conferees more cautious in spending decisions.
Two riders approved by the Conference Committee that effect nursing home providers were:
Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign the budget within a few days after the Legislature adjourns on June 1.
Commitment to Care
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