In this new section of the Dykema Long Term Care Newsletter, we will be bringing you information about recent developments in State government and observations about such developments by Ed Dore. (See separate announcement about Dore in this issue.) Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director, and her Deputy Directors, presented proposed budgets to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Health in late February and early March. The appropriations process for FY 2010 is ongoing. Highlights of the budget proposals and hearings include:
- Increases to FY 2010 revenue due to a proposed increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Program (FMAP) rate received from the federal government and enhanced federal Medicaid matching funds from the federal economic stimulus legislation.
- Consolidation of the Office of Long-Term Supports and Services into other existing divisions of MDCH, possibly including the Medical Services Administration (Medicaid), Office of Services to the Aging, and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. A plan is being developed for this purpose. Although the Office of Long-Term Care Supports and Services will be integrated, MDCH supports the recommendations of the LTC Task Force Commission and will continue to implement these recommendations.
- Although MDCH sought to provide additional funds for Bureau of Health Systems survey and certification staff, it is unclear whether such funding will be appropriated. Additional survey and certification staff would improve the timeliness of nursing home surveys, including complaint investigations and re-visits, and may help address surveys of new nursing home facilities under the CMS survey priorities expressed in CMS Survey & Certification Letters 08-03 and 08-13.
- MDCH has had some success in meeting the needs of certain focus populations under the Michigan Medicaid program, including the expansion of community options for persons needing long-term care services. Budget proposals projected nursing home transition savings of approximately $15.3 million due to transition of older individuals from nursing home care to home and community based waiver programs and non-institutional settings.