Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Bronna Kahle to expand a reimbursement program to county medical care facilities is now law.
Kahle’s bill extends the sunset on a program that reimburses county health care facilities that provide care to many Medicaid patients, according to a news release. The extension allows counties to continue to pay their lower “sustaining effort” rate, which would benefit counties and the state. If the sunset had not been extended, Kahle said it could force some medical facilities to close if they are unable to fund the operation of the facilities and would put the elderly and those with medical coverage at risk. Medicaid.
The maintenance of the effort rate for the county’s medical care facilities was to end in December. It has been extended regularly since the program was first implemented in 1984. Kahle’s plan extends the expiration date by three years or until the state creates a new reimbursement system.
“If sunset were to expire, the state could receive an additional $800,000 in local revenue,” said an analysis of the bill by the House Fiscal Agency. “Conversely, if sunset were to expire, counties that own a medical care facility would have to pay the state a combined total of $800,000 in additional effort sustaining payments.”
“The continuation of this program will keep state and county costs constant and maintain the system of care providers for our most vulnerable seniors,” Kahle, R-Adrian, said in a news release. “Without this change in state law, facilities would have experienced significant cost increases that will adversely affect Medicaid patients in need of care, especially in this time of inflation. County care facilities ensure that everyone has a place to turn for care, regardless of economic status. It is crucial that these facilities are maintained.
Kahle chairs the House Health Policy Committee.
Prior to the implementation of this program in the 1980s, county care facilities were unable to meet their costs, forcing facilities to petition county commissioners to allocate local appropriations to make up the difference.
Kahle said county residents across the state have been forced to meet the costs of care facilities over the years through county mileage, as is the case in Lenawee County.
The bill passed 99-3 in the House in April and 37-0 in the Senate in May. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill into law on Tuesday.