Last week, the Georgia House of Representatives approved HB 911, the SFY 2023 Budget. This House-approved budget includes $1,994,623 in state funds ($5,906,494 in total funds) to increase the Medicaid Elderly and Disabled reimbursement rate for all home and community-based providers. The HCAOA Georgia Chapter had originally submitted an ask for a 3.0% rate increase at a meeting of the House Appropriations Health Subcommittee. Our testimony was one of more than twenty requests for funding above the original Governor’s budget, requests that in total created more than $150 million in additional requests for budget funding. As a result of these many requests, we were advised to reduce our ask and direct its intent to cover the costs of fingerprinting that was added as a regulatory requirement in 2019. That change was made, and our ask was resubmitted and eventually included in the budget.
During the approval process for last year’s Medicaid rate increase, the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) was asked by CMS to undertake a reimbursement rate study of home & community-based services in the impacted waiver programs. Last week, SB 610 was introduced in the Georgia Senate, which requires that DCH conduct a “comprehensive review of provider reimbursement rates for home and community-based services covered by the waiver programs.”
Other details on SB 610 include:
This proposed legislation addresses needed reimbursement rate studies to address the continuing increases in the cost of delivering services to Georgians. The HCAOA Georgia Chapter is supportive of these much-needed studies. As SB 610 proceeds through the legislative process, we will be asking that the Georgia Pediatric Program (GAPP) is also included in this rate study legislation to assure that all Medicaid waiver programs receive parity in reimbursement rates.