State Budget Update: Senate Ways and Means Releases Proposal for Debate

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means released their recommendations for the state’s fiscal year 2013 budget. The full 40-member Senate will introduce amendments by the end of this week and will debate the proposal beginning next week. Here are some of the highlights concerning home care:

MassHealth Line Items:

  • The MassHealth Managed Care account (line item 4000-0500) dips $6 million below what the House approved in their version at $4.158 billion.
  • The MassHealth Senior Care account (line item 4000-0600) comes in at $7,230,000 below what the House proposed at $2.756 billion.
  • The MassHealth Fee-for-Service Payments account (4000-0700) saw a bigger slash from the House version of $26.8 million, coming in at $1.927 billion.

Elder Affairs/State Home Care Program Line Items:

  • Elder Enhanced Home Care Services (9110-1500) saw a decrease from the House version of $1,327,853 set at $46.4 million.
  • The Home Care Purchased Services account (9110-1630) was also set below the House’s budget version by $497,837 at a total of $97.2 million.
  • The Elder Nutrition account (9110-1900) does not match the House’s version, but still restores a cut to that program made by the Governor. The Senate Ways and Means version is set at $6.325 million.

In summary, the Senate Ways and Means budget proposal chips down all MassHealth and Elder Affairs line items. These amounts may be restored at least partially after the full Senate concludes their debate and also following when the Senate and House name members to a conference committee to work out differences between the two budgets.

The Home Care Alliance will continue to advocate for a MassHealth nursing rate increase, Certificate of Need, Telehealth, and strengthening pediatric home care services.

Check back to the blog to find out how you can support HCA’s budget priorities.

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