Long-awaited help might be on the way for nursing homes in the State of New York.  Governor Hochul’s recently proposed budget called “A New Era for New York” contains a slew of overdue relief for struggling skilled nursing facilities.

A portion of the proposed massive $216 billion budget will help the SNFs with retention and recruitment of staff to patient care positions.  Two years of Covid pandemic with no end in sight & vaccination mandates have caused many front-line workers to leave their positions in SNFs.

According to NYSHFA, the proposed budget “increases the Medicaid Global Cap ceiling to 4.7%, and changes the metric used to set the Medicaid Global Cap spending from the 10-year rolling average of the medical component of the CPI to a 5-year rolling average based on Medicaid spending projections. Total Federal, State, and local Medicaid spending is expected to be $92 billion in FY 2023, an increase of 6.3%.”

Hochul called this “the largest investment in healthcare in State history.”

Among the highlights related to reimbursement are:

  • Restoring the prior administration’s 1.5% Medicaid cut.
  • Raising the Medicaid base rate by 1%.
  • Investing $1.2 billion for healthcare worker retention and recruitment by providing up to $3,000 per frontline healthcare worker earning up to $100k annually.
  • Establishing a $1.6 billion capital program for financing capital improvements to SNFs.
  • Financing $150 million to build out IT infrastructure and telehealth capabilities.Allocating $61 million for minimum staffing requirements.

Other highlights:

  • Investing $50 million to support the implementation of a GreenHouse Nursing Home initiative.
  • Earmarking $750 million to construct a new laboratory on the Harriman Campus in Albany.

The proposed budget calls for expanding the scope of practice of certified nurse aides.  Under this provision, nurse aides would be allowed to administer certain medications. This could be a big step in alleviating the staffing crunch related to the nursing shortage in SNFs.

Now the fun begins.  Historically, it has been the NYS legislature fighting to reduce Medicaid cuts proposed by the governor’s office.  Will the shoe be on the other foot this time? Does the state have the money for a $216 billion budget?

While potentially infusing money into the system is a big win for SNF owners and operators, New York State’s case-mix system represents an opportunity to further improve their Medicaid reimbursement. One of the methods is to positively impact case-mix by delivering clinically appropriate speech therapy services to long-term care patients in need of treatment for dysphagia and impaired cognition.

Interested in learning to improve the delivery of speech therapy at your skilled nursing facility & related reimbursement?  Contact us today for a free assessment.