AAHomecare Applauds Medicaid Rate Increase
WASHINGTON (May 12, 2023) -- Today, the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) applauds a 7.5% Medicaid Fee Schedule rate increase for Florida home medical equipment providers, the companies that set-up and service patients' homes with medical equipment like ventilators, oxygen equipment and respiratory devices, power wheelchairs and more. This marks the first such reimbursement rate increase in 23 years.
"This rate bump will protect access to critical homecare services and begin to relieve the financial stress on businesses in our industry. Home medical equipment providers have been on the frontlines throughout the pandemic, offering ongoing support, remote monitoring, product selection, and education of life savings resources – all with reimbursement rates set decades ago," said Crispin Teufel, CEO of Clearwater-based homecare provider Lincare Holdings Inc.
This legislative win, passed as part of Florida's budget, follows a four-year advocacy effort led by AAHomecare in partnership with the Florida Alliance of Home Care Services. The initiative was so successful that the increase was included in the proposed budgets of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administrations, Governor’s budget, and both chambers of the Florida legislature. The rate increase goes into effect October 1.
In addition, proviso language states that this increase must be passed along from Managed Care Organizations (MCO) to home medical equipment providers. MCOs manage 73% of the Medicaid population in Florida.
AAHomecare will work closely with the Department leadership to ensure smooth execution of the increase.
"This move helps bring Florida's outdated rates in line with market realities. Homecare providers across the country are currently reeling from pandemic-induced labor shortages, supply chain issues, and inflation-related challenges," said AAHomecare President and CEO Tom Ryan. "We certainly hope to see more legislative support for Florida's homecare infrastructure as the state's aging population continues to grow."
Over the next two decades, Florida's 65 and older population is projected to jump 52 percent. Taking care of these residents in their homes could "potentially generate more than $745 million in fiscal savings annually, before adjusting for inflation," according to Florida TaxWatch. Without a thriving homecare sector, seniors could be forced into less cost-effective settings like acute-care and skilled-nursing facilities.
Contact: Gordon Barnes - firstname.lastname@example.org