FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 12, 2004) -- The Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced today it has received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to proceed with the implementation of legislation that will assist nursing home residents and the Medicaid program.
House Bill 292, approved this year by the General Assembly, provides for an additional assessment on nursing facilities that in turn is matched for federal funding.
The benefit of this approval is $55 million to allow the Kentucky Medicaid program to improve its regular payment rates and pay additional nursing staff to care for 15,575 Medicaid patients residing in Kentucky’s nursing facilities. In addition, approximately $55 million in federal dollars will be used to assist the Medicaid program in its projected budgetary shortfall this fiscal year. Kentucky is only one of three states - the others are North Carolina and Oregon -- to receive this form of approval.
"With the adoption of the additional provider assessment, Kentucky will be able to fulfill its commitment to the frail and elderly of the Commonwealth to ensure that nursing homes have the financial resources necessary to provide quality, long-term care services" said Rich Miller, president of the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities.
The KAHCF, along with the Kentucky Association of Homes and Services for the Aging --both nursing home trade groups -- worked with the cabinet to develop and enact model legislation that will bring additional federal funding to the state's nursing home program.
"The Kentucky Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (KAHSA) appreciates the cooperation, hard work of Governor Fletcher, his staff and the members of the General Assembly for demonstrating their support for high quality care and services to Kentucky's elderly, infirm and disabled," said Timothy L. Veno, president of KAHSA. "The approval by the federal government of Kentucky's new plan to finance long term care services will result in much needed additional federal money which will in turn be used to enhance care and services to Kentuckians."
During the 2004 Kentucky General Assembly, the nursing facility industry worked with the legislature to pass the legislation to make this provider assessment possible. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services worked with CMS on obtaining their approval to allow for implementation of the program.