Gov. Patrick Signs FY12 State Budget

Governor Deval Patrick signed the state’s fiscal year 2012 budget amounting to $30.6 billion with a victory for home health.

Language that would move MassHealth one step closer to reimbursing home health agencies for telehealth services was included in the “MassHealth Managed Care” line item:

…for purposes of long-term health care cost savings and enhanced patient care, the commonwealth may recognize telehealth remote patient monitoring provided by home health agencies as a service to clients otherwise reimbursable through Medicaid

The key word in this language is “may.” MassHealth is not directly instructed in the budget to reimburse for telehealth (as if the word “shall” was used), but it presents the state with the option to do so, which means that continued advocacy will be required to push the state towards that end. This is a solid victory for the Alliance’s budget advocacy thanks to the hundreds of emails that were sent from the HCA website’s Legislative Action Center and to the office of Senator Richard Moore.

Another item of interest is in regards to Adult Day Health where the Governor approved a budget that makes “no changes prior to December 31, 2011 in the clinical eligibility or level of reimbursement paid to providers of adult day health services for basic and complex levels of care.”  The budget also imposes a temporary moratorium on enrollment of new Adult Day Health providers until such time that a study is completed by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. The study, due to the Legislature by December 31, 2011, will provide a basis for new licensure and rate structure and also will provide a needs assessment of ADH services going forward.

For more information, the full budget is available on Mass.gov.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

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