House Begins Budget Process with Reductions from Governor, Improvements Over FY13

The House Committee on Ways & Means released their proposed version of the FY 2014 state budget today and although many items are reduced from what Governor Deval Patrick proposed, most items are still an improvement over fiscal year 2013.

House Ways & Means’ $33.8 billion budget reduces the MassHealth Senior Care, MassHealth Managed Care and MassHealth Fee-for-Service line items by a total of $205.8 million from what the Governor proposed, but those items still represent a collective increase of $625.1 million above the FY13 budget.

Meanwhile, most Elder Affairs line items that fund the State Home Care Program, administered by the Aging Service Access Point network, received slight reductions. One item, Home Care Case Management and Administration, saw a $478,097 increase over what the Governor proposed, but $593,317 less than the FY2013 number.

Below are the line items, the House Ways & Means funding level, and their difference (+ or -) from the Governor’s proposal and the FY2013 budget. Also included is a brief explanation of what the line item covers.

  • MassHealth Senior Care: $2,861,335,505 (-$50 million from Governor’s budget, +$105.2 million from FY2013)

The MassHealth Senior Care item funds services for seniors on MassHealth as well as the Senior Care Options, or SCO, Program.

  • MassHealth Managed Care: $4,499,411,804 (-$53.5 from Governor’s budget, +$331.9 million from FY2013)

MassHealth Managed Care is for services provided to medical assistance recipients under the Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ primary care clinician, mental health and substance abuse plan or through a health maintenance organization under contract with the executive office and for MassHealth benefits provided to children, adolescents and adults

  • MassHealth Fee-for-Service: $2,145,499,061 (-$102.3 million from Governor’s budget, +$188 million from FY2013)

MassHealth Fee-for-Service covers other MassHealth recipients not under Senior Care or Managed Care.

  • Home Care Purchased Services: $97,780,898 (-$8,891 from Governor’s budget, NO change from FY2013)
  • Home Care Case Management: $53,145,060 (+$478,097 from Governor’s budget, -$593,317 from FY2013)

Home Care Purchased Services and Home Care Case Management fund the operation of the state’s Home Care Program and its related contracts.

The Home Care Alliance will be working with state representatives to file amendments seeking MassHealth reimbursement of home telehealth services, a certificate of need process for home health agencies in the state, and an adjustment to pediatric home health care rates.

Budget amendments will be submitted by April 12th and the Home Care Alliance will send advocacy alerts looking for emails and phone calls asking state representatives for support on our amendments the week of April 15th. The full House of Representatives will debate the budget the following week.

Stay tuned for more information and for advocacy alerts on how you can help gain support.

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