Last week of Georgia Legislative Session wraps up in Atlanta

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Hello!

We completed our last full week of the 2019 Legislative Session with just one day left – Sine Die on April 2, 2019. This week the Senate debated 88 pieces of legislation addressing updates to our foster system, changes to Georgia’s tax credits, improvements to the child abuse registry, and several other issues that will have an impact on all Georgians. We’ve almost crossed the finish line of the 2019 Legislative Session with only one day to go.

Passing the Fiscal Year 2020 General Budget

House Bill 31 is the proposed Fiscal Year 2020 General Budget. The budget includes a state revenue estimate of $27.5 billion, which would be allo-cated to a variety of areas including education and teacher pay, public and school safety, behavioral health and transportation. I’d like to highlight some of the healthcare items.

Medicaid/PeachCare for Kids

Hospital Providers:

New funding for the revision of the hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) reimbursement model, effective for dates of service on and after January 1, 2019. ($9.3 million)

New funding to include additional long-term care acute hospitals (LTACs) and intermediate rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) as Medicaid providers, effective January 1, 2019. ($3.2 million)

Increased funds for a $150 per diem add-on payment for hospital-based swing bed units in Prospective Payment System (PPS) hospitals located in counties with populations less than 35,000. ($575 thousand)

Supplemental payments to general acute care hospitals with inpatient child and adolescent units to achieve a $750 per diem. ($172 thousand)

Legislative directive for the Department of Community Health to evaluate the cost of Medicaid inpatient payment parity for hospitals with specialized units and to develop qualification criteria in order for those units to receive any such payments. (No funds)

Nursing Home Providers:

3 percent inflationary cost increase and use of the most current fiscal year audited cost for the general liability and professional liability calculation. ($13.7 million)

Increase funds to provide an increase in the maximum adjustment factor to the Allowed Per Diem for Routine and Special Services from 4.5% to 5.5% for nursing homes that qualify for the maximum adjustment rate based upon approved assessments for resident cognitive impairment. ($717 thousand)

$5 increase in the monthly personal needs allowance pursuant to HB 206 (2017 Session). ($402 thousand)

Support for enhanced background checks ($330 thousand)

3% increase in the nursing home ventilator reimbursement rate ($109 thousand)

Other Providers:

Increased payment rates by 3 percent for dental providers. ($205 thousand)

New funding for gene therapy drug coverage recently approved by the FDA. ($5.9 million)

Medicaid Financing:

Additional funding for increases in Medicaid enrollment, medical services utilization and medical trend. ($55.6 million)

Savings from a one-year moratorium of Health Insurance Fees as required by the Affordable Care Act. ($34 million)