Hello and welcome to Friday ...
While Florida isn't willing to take advantage of additional funding in the American Rescue Plan Act to expand Medicaid to low-income adults without children, the state is willing to draw down other financial incentives in the federal law to improve health care.
Tom Rice, a program manager with the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities, told members of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Friday morning that APD currently is drawing up plans to access the enhanced Medicaid funding, which Congress made available under the federal law.
APD is trying to tap into an additional 10 percentage-point hike in federal Medicaid funding for the delivery of home- and community-based services. The funding is available to help fund services provided between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.
Additionally, Rice said, APD was scheduled to meet with AHCA Friday afternoon to review its potential plans and to score how much they would cost. The state agencies will work together to determine how much additional federal Medicaid funding Florida could expect to receive.
"The big question has been --- and we get asked this several times a day --- is how much is available. Well, my answer now, at this point, is a lot," Rice said. "We are not exactly sure. Right now, we have an idea."
While Rice didn't share any figures, he said the state should have it "nailed down" in the next day or two.
The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council maintains that the state could tap into at least $300 million in enhanced federal funding. But former APD SecretaryJim DeBeaugrine, a former House Appropriations Committee aide, estimates that the state could take advantage of as much as $450 million in additional federal funds.
To tap into additional federal funding, the state must submit its proposed plans to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by mid-June. The federal government has 30 days to review the state's plan. If approved, the state would not be required to spend the additional funds this year.
'It is good news we are not obligated to spend all the money this fiscal year, which would have been very, very difficult," Rice said. "Becasue in some cases, some of these ideas will require us to do (invitiations to negotiate) and different procurements and then enter into contracts, etc. Nothing happens as quickly as we'd like it to. So, definitely, that extra time is very helpful."
The Florida Department of Health issued Emergency Rule 64DER21-8 requiring immediate reporting of suspected or confirmed cases and both positive and negative test results of coronavirus (COVID-19) by physicians, hospitals, and laboratories. More here.
The Agency for Health Care Administration proposes amending Rule 59G-13.070 regarding the Medicaid iBudget waiver program to reflect current law. More here.
AHCA published changes to proposed Rule 59A-3.249 regarding neonatal intensive care units. More here.
AHCA proposes amending Rule 59G-13.081 to incorporate by reference the Developmental disabilities individual budgeting waiver services provider rate table. More here.
AHCA proposes amending Rule 59A-11.003 to update an incorporated application form, strike specific licensing fee amount from rule, and remove obsolete language. More here.
AHCA proposes amending Rule 59G-6.005 to update the reimbursement percentage of the Medicare rate or the Florida Medicaid rate when the service is not covered by Medicare. More here.
DOH issued Emergency Rule 64DER21-8, which requires immediate reporting of suspected or confirmed cases and both positive and negative COVID-19 test results of Coro physicians, hospitals, and laboratories. More here.
The Board of Medicine proposes amending Rule 64B8-3.002 to extend the physician licensure fee reduction to Feb. 1, 2023. More here.
The Board of Medicine proposes amending Rule 64B8-3.012 extend the licensure fee reduction for anesthesiologist assistants to Feb. 1, 2023. More here.
The Board of Medicine proposes amending Rule 64B8-4.009 to incorporate the revised licensure applications. More here.
The Board of Medicine proposes amending Rule 64B8-55.0015 to add new rule language regarding out-of-state telehealth discipline. More here.
The Board of Medicine proposes amending Rule 64B8-55.002 to substantially rewrite existing citations. More here.
The Board of Osteopathic Medicine proposes amending Rule 64B15-7.012 regarding the rule amendment to extend the fee reduction to Feb. 1, 2023. More here.
The Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling proposes amending Rule 64B4-2.002 to update the rule language. More here.
Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families Say Ahhh blog here.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
–Believable ... Florida counties where Trump support was heaviest have the lowest vaccination rates in the state. More here.
–And polls say ... ‘My body. My choice.’ Republicans’ resistance may be slowing Florida vaccine campaign. More here.
–Research ... Orlando joins historic study of blood-donor policy for gay men. More here.
–Ramifications ... Cancer rates higher in states that limit Medicaid access. More here.
–Back pay ordered ... Florida company shorted its home health care providers $33,000 in pay, Labor says. More here.
–Good trend ... Central Florida’s COVID battle reaches turning point as deaths plummet and mass vaccine sites close. More here.
–Bad trend ... AARP: New COVID cases at Florida nursing homes more than national average. More here.
–Higher ... Institute estimates 40% more Florida COVID deaths than state’s tally. More here.
–Rest in power ... On front lines battling COVID-19, more than 400 registered nurses have died, including 23 in FL. More here.
--Do it ... Florida could add 134,700 jobs, lower the number of uninsured residents by 852,000 and pump billions of additional federal dollars into the economy if it would expand Medicaid to low-income adults without children, according to a report released Thursday. More here.
–Chandeliers not needed ... Members of the Governor’s Panel on Excellence in Long-Term Care agreed Wednesday to recommend that Gov. Ron DeSantis recognize the Clearwater Center as a Gold Seal facility. The nursing home is in a building that is more than 50 years old. More here.
–Passports required ... Gov Ron DeSantis earlier this month signed into law a COVID-19 vaccination "passport" ban. But the law exempted 40 different types of health-care facilities overseen by the Agency for Health Care Administration and health-care practitioners licensed by the Florida Department of Health. More here.
2:01 p.m. The Department of Children and Families opens sealed proposals responding to RFP# C17-2021-APS. For a link to the meeting, email Natasha.Grant@myflfamilies.com.
2; p.m. First Responder Suicide Deterrence Task Force meets. Meeting link here. Meeting ID: 92601143726.
1:30 p.m. The Board of Nursing meets to consider disciplinary issues. Call (888) 585-9008; participant code: 275112502.
5:30 p.m.The Board of Opticianry meets to conduct general business. Meeting link here.
2 p.m. AHCA is holding a public meeting to discuss the draft Medicaid provider enrollment policy proposed in an amendment to Rule 59G-1.060. Register for the meeting here.
5:30 p.m. Board of Orthotists and Prosthetists holds a general board meeting. Meetng link here.
8 a.m. The Board of Medicine - Probation Committee meets. Meeting link here.
11 a.m. AHCA hosts a workshop on proposed Rule 59G-4.132 regarding home health electronic visit verification. Register for the workshop here. Contact MedicaidRuleComments@ahca.myflorida.com for a copy of the proposed rule.
11 a.m. The Department of Children and Families ranks proposals received from vendors responding to RFP 2021 013. Meeting link here.