More November Tidbits

11/15/2017 - PARCR Admin

LeadingAgePA has released the following information:

Community HealthChoices Update: Implementation Delay for Phases 2 and 3

The Department of Human Services (DHS) announced this week that it would delay the implementation of Community HealthChoices (CHC) for Phase 2 and Phase 3, while Phase 1 will begin, as planned, on Jan. 1, 2018.

Phase 2 will now begin on January 1, 2019, instead of July 1, 2018
Phase 3 will now begin on January 1, 2020, instead of January 1, 2019

LeadingAge PA commends DHS for providing the additional time to allow for the deliberate and purposeful implementation of CHC in the southeast region (Phase 2) and the remainder of the state (Phase 3).

LeadingAge PA continues to actively engage with DHS as it works through the implementation of CHC, to urge clarifications and process improvements needed by members. We will continue to provide updates and information as available.

News Update: Pennsylvania now has a budget.

Final State Budget for 2017/2018 – On October 30, 2017, Governor Wolf signed several pieces of legislation which finalized the state budget for fiscal year 2017/2018. For LeadingAge PA members, the budget is mainly about keeping the status quo.

The General Appropriations Bill, HB 218 (Saylor, R, York) which became law without the Governor’s signature on July 11, 2017 held no Medical Assistance rate increases for nursing facilities or home and community based service providers.

The Fiscal Code Bill, HB 674 (Sponsorship withdrawn) included $8M for the non-public Medical Assistance Day One Incentive Payment. Additionally, the Fiscal Code made modifications to the Nursing Facility Provider Assessment requiring nursing facilities to pay timely and submit all payments electronically. For providers who don’t pay timely and don’t request a payment plan, DHS will begin to aggressively pursue collection of not only the assessment but the penalties and interest allowed by law.

The Administrative Code Bill, HB 118 (Kauffer, R, Luzerne) increases a number of fees that will affect members including elevator and boiler inspection fees. The bill also increases the cost of death certificates to $20 and allows the State Police to increase the cost of Criminal History Background checks after giving public notice. One piece of good news in the bill is that LIFE providers will no longer need a license for their adult day center from the Department of Aging.

In order to close the revenue gap of approximately $1.2B, the final budget requires a transfer of $200M from the Joint Underwriting Association; expands gaming to add additional categories and locales which is scheduled to bring in $200M in the first year and monetizing $1.5B of future tobacco fund settlements. LeadingAge PA has already started discussions with budget officials regarding Medical Assistance funding for long term care services and supports.

Reminder: Action Needed

Ask your U.S. Congressman to preserve medical expense deduction and tax-exempt financing for senior housing including CCRCs.

Tax reform legislation (H.R. 1) has been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives and will soon come to a vote. Please see LeadingAge (national)’s action alert for additional information and talking points on the bill, click here for a letter to members of the House of Representatives from LeadingAge (national) President and CEO Katie Sloan. Call your Congressman TODAY at 855-837-6894.

The Senate has released its Tax reform bill. More information will be reported if LeadingAge makes comments after reviewing the bill.