Mabie centers to retain funding

On July 8, Assemblyman Luis Alejo visited the Mabie Northside and Mabie Southside Skilled Nursing Facilities to meet the residents and employees and discuss the progress of his Assembly Bill 900 that would stop the cuts to MediCal reimbursement to the dis

Skilled-nursing facilities operated by Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital are no longer in danger of closely after a reversal from the state on reducing MediCal payments.
Governor Jerry Brown, the California Department of Health Care Services and Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley agreed to exempt rural hospital-based skilled nursing facilities from proposed MediCal payment reductions.
“Hospital-based nursing facilities care for the most vulnerable seniors and are often the only option for seniors with specialized medical or behavioral needs living in rural areas,” said Luis Alejo, an assembly member who had proposed assembly bill 900 to eliminate the cut to rural places. “This relief is a big win for rural hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities, including Hazel Hawkins and George L. Mee Memorial Hospital.”
Frankie Gallagher, the spokesperson for Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, had said if the cuts were to go through, the hospital would likely have had to close down one of the two skilled nursing facilities it operates when Alejo first proposed his bill. Gallagher wasn’t immediately available for comment this week.
While Alejo’s bill made it to the state Senate appropriations committee it was being held on suspense until August. It is currently being considered.
“This a first great step in solving many of the financial problems that both rural and urban hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities are facing,” Alejo said. “I look forward to continue working with my colleges in the Legislature to address any of the remaining issues that could affect the long term care services provided by these types of facilities.”
The decision made by the Department of Health Care Services exempts hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities prospectively from the 10 percent MediCal payment reductions and will halt on a prospective basis a rate freeze based on 2008-09 payment levels.
In 2011, the California Legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 97, which included a 10 percent across-the-board MediCal provider rate reduction. The Department of Health Care Services was prevented from implementing many of these reductions due to a court injunction.
On June 14, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit allowed the state to move forward with the implementation of the AB 97 Medi-Cal provider 10 percent payment reductions.
“This announcement is a major step forward in the effort to protect the state’s most vulnerable patients by sparing hospitals in rural areas from previously-announced 25 percent or greater cuts, and halting a rate freeze based on 2008-09 payment levels,” said C. Duane Dauner, President/CEO of the California Hospital Association. “While there are still a number of difficult issues to address, including the financial threats faced by urban (facilities) and retroactive cuts affecting both rural and urban hospitals, this decision is a testament to the dedication of Assemblyman Alejo and his colleagues in the legislature, legislative leadership and the Brown administration. We believe this collaboration can result in a solution that helps California expand access to health care and successfully implement the Affordable Care Act.”

Leave your comments