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LEGISLATIVE

2016 Session Update 2 - April 22, 2016



The 2016 Legislative Session began on Monday January 11, 2016 at the State Capitol and concluded SINE DIE on March 24, 2016. Governor Deal held his State of the State Address on Wednesday, January 13th and outlined his agenda and budget for the Session. He stated that he has not changed his opinion on Medicaid Expansion and that he would not be considering expanding Medicaid.

The Governor's 2016 Amended Budget and 2017 Budget were released Thursday, January 14th and the Legislature went to work making their proposed adjustments. Overall HCBS's had a BANNER year! For the 2016 Budget, over $2 million dollars were added to continue to fund CCSP through the end of the fiscal year under the same format that referrals have been currently being provided

The 2017 Budget included six months of a provider rate increase for DD COMP Providers totaling $11.9 million and 100 DD NOW slots totaling $1.2 million. The Legislature also added a 5% Rate Increase for Adult Day Services totaling almost $400,000! They also added an ICWP Rate Increase that brings up the ICWP Rates to match Personal Support Rates totaling $3.7 million!

The Legislature funded almost $7 million for Aging services, including $5 million for in-home services (Non-Medicaid) to help people stay in their home and community as they age, $1 million for Transition Services modeled after the Money Follows the Person program with more flexibility, and $1 million for APS Service Workers. They also recommended to move the CCSP Program from DHS to DCH. There are NO details regarding how this will work out as of yet, but we have been assured DCH that we will be included in the process. Overall we had a fantastic budget year for HCBS!

The Budget may be viewed in full detail at opb.georgia.gov.

There were several pieces of Legislation this year that were of interest our GACCP providers in the 2016 Legislative Session:

HB 684 would allow dentists to authorize hygienists to perform preventive care without the dentist being present in safety net settings. The bill did not pass.

HB 768 established the ABLE Act which provides for Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities. The bill passed and is on the Governor's desk.

HB 897 would establish a drug repository program to accept and dispense unused drugs. The bill passed and is on the Governor's desk.

HB 902 recommends that Assisted Living Communities provide information to their residents about getting flu shots. The bill passed and is on the Governor's desk.

HB 916 would make clerical errors non-recoupable for all Medicaid Providers. The bill passed and is on the Governor's desk.

HB 1037 expanded the existing Certified Nurse Assistant Registry to allow receipt of complaints on CNA's working in all settings. This will allow providers and consumers to review the CNA before hiring. There were also bills that would establish a Study Committee to look at this issue, however they did not pass. But we have been given commitment that Rep. Sharon Cooper and Sen. Rene Unterman will have Sub-Committee meetings during the off-session the creation of an Abuser Registry in GA and expect legislation in 2017. The bill passed and is on the Governor's desk.

HB 1085 makes the changes needed in Georgia Code to move the CCSP Program from DHS to DCH. The bill passed and is on the Governor's desk.

The Governor has 40 days to either sign or veto all these bill or they become law, including the Budget Bill.

I am very pleased to say that Home and Community Based Services had a BANNER Session! I know all GACCP members will be pleased to see that our services continue to be recognized as the best alternative to institutional care to allow Georgia citizens to be able to live and thrive in the community!

Respectfully submitted,
Steven Neff
GACCP Executive Director

On February 12, 2016, GACCP attended and presented at ...

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On January 20, 2016, GACCP attended and presented at the House Appropriations Human Development Subcommittee at the Capitol in Room 341.

Pictured: House Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee
Pictured above: House Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee

Pictured:  House Chairperson Katie Dempsey
Pictured above: House Chairperson Katie Dempsey

Pictured: Senate Chairperson Renee Unterman and Senator Chuck Hufstetler
Pictured above: Senate Chairperson Renee Unterman and Senator Chuck Hufstetler

2016 Session Update 1 - January 19, 2016

Good Morning All,

The 2016 Legislative Session began Monday January 11, 2016 at the State Capitol. Governor Deal held his State of the State Address on Wednesday, January 13th and outlined his agenda and budget for the Session. He stated that he has not changed his opinion on Medicaid Expansion and that he would not be considering expanding Medicaid.

The Governor's 2016 Amended Budget and 2017 Budget were released, Thursday, January 14th. There are some clear positives and negatives for all Home and Community Based Service Providers. I saw no funds for HCBS in the Amended 2016 Budget. For the 2017 Budget he recommended six months of a provider rate increase for DD COMP Providers totaling $11.9 million and 100 DD NOW slots totaling $1.2 million. He recommended no dollars for Aging services except for 11 APS Caseworkers totaling $760,000 and 1000 new slots for Non-Medcaid HCBS slots totaling $2 million. No Aging Provider Rate increases. Lastly, he recommended to move the CCSP Program from DHS to DCH totaling $46.5 million transferred but no new dollars. There are NO details regarding how this will work out as of yet!

The Budget may be viewed in full detail at opb.georgia.gov.

As we are able to get more details, I will certainly pass those along. Budget Presentations and Hearings will begin today Tuesday, January 19th and I will be present. Your GACCP Legislative Committee will be discussing our next steps early this week and will begin meeting with legislators to address the lack of Aging funding, as well as support of those funds that have been recommended.

Also, I attended the DCH Board Meeting, January 14th at 2 Peachtree. There were several public notices that effect HCBS Service Providers. For Hospice providers there was Final Approval Georgia Hospice Reimbursement Update that replaces the RHC per firm rate with two different payment rates effective January 1, 2016.

For DD Providers, initial adoption of the COMP Waiver Program renewal. This was reintroduced after feedback from the last public hearing stating 3 issues. First, Respite rates too low. Then CRA rules do not outline how much is to be distributed to providers and lastly, not enough time for public to be able to digest the new proposed rules. Therefore, there will be another public hearing today January 19th at DCH.

For ICWP, initial adoption of rules that make no service or rate changes, however does address the Provider Setting Rule for the HCBS Transition Plan. There will be a public hearing on January 21st.

Lastly for Private Home Care Providers, Rules and Regulations for Private Home Care Providers Rule, the rules were reintroduced to implement HB 183. They have recommended two changes to include clarification that if a provider use an Independent Contractor, then the IC must be a licensed health care professional as defined under GA law Title 43. Secondly, if a consumer requests to use a proxy caregiver then the PHC Provider is not obligated to hire that proxy caregiver as an employee. There will be another public hearing on February 18th at DCH.

Each of these Public Notices may be viewed in detail at DCH.georgia.gov under Meetings and Notices, then under Public Notices. All legislative updates will also be posted on the legislative page of our website www.gaccp.org throughout the 2016 Session.

Respectfully submitted,
Steven Neff
GACCP Executive Director

2015 Legislative Update is now available. Click here to view it now!

GACCP President Reid Wilson and GACCP Executive Director Steven Neff attended a fundraiser for Sen. Greg Kirk on January 6, 2016. Pictured left to right: Reid Wilson, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Sen. Greg Kirk and Steven Neff

GACCP President Reid Wilson and GACCP Executive Director Steven Neff attended a fundraiser for Sen. Greg Kirk on January 6th.
Pictured left to right:
Reid Wilson, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Sen. Greg Kirk and Steven Neff
GACCP President Reid Wilson and GACCP Executive Director Steven Neff attended a fundraiser for Sen. Greg Kirk on January 6, 2016. Pictured left to right: Reid Wilson, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Sen. Greg Kirk and Steven Neff

Fundraiser for Health and Human Services Committee Chairs. Left to Right: Sen. Renee Unterman, Gov. Nathan Deal, Rep. Sharon Cooper

Fundraiser for Health and Human Services Committee Chairs.
Left to Right:  Sen. Renee Unterman, Gov. Nathan Deal, Rep. Sharon Cooper
Fundraiser for Health and Human Services Committee Chairs. Left to Right: Sen. Renee Unterman, Gov. Nathan Deal, Rep. Sharon Cooper

House DD Study Committee November 12, 2015.

House DD Study Committee November 12, 2015. House DD Study Committee November 12, 2015.
House DD Study Committee November 12, 2015.

House NOW and COMP Study Committee October 19, 2015.

House NOW and COMP Study Committee October 19, 2015. House NOW and COMP Study Committee October 19, 2015. House NOW and COMP Study Committee October 19, 2015.
House NOW and COMP Study Committee October 19, 2015.

2014 Senior Day at the Capitol

Photo L to R:  Reid Wilson (GACCP Vice President), Pat Madray (GACCP
Board member), Steve Neff (GACCP Executive     Director/Lobbyist), Edna
Walthour (GACCP Board)
Photo L to R: Reid Wilson (GACCP Vice President), Pat Madray (GACCP Board member), Steve Neff (GACCP Executive Director/Lobbyist), Edna Walthour (GACCP Board)

 

 

2011gaccp