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Hawai'i Free Press

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
After Threatening Hospital Sustainability Fee With Veto, Abercrombie Signs LTC Bill
By News Release @ 1:38 PM :: 5254 Views :: Energy, Environment

Veto Threat: Abercrombie Punishing Hospitals for Refusing Payoff to DoH

SA: … the governor has placed a nearly identical bill that would establish provider fees on private hospitals on his potential veto list. Advocates for private hospitals had fought the Abercrombie administration's attempt to take a 12 percent share of the extra money for hospitals, and state lawmakers, siding with hospitals, put the state's share at 7 percent.

Abercrombie said large nursing homes understood that the state needed a portion of the extra federal money. "As a result we're going to have this signing today where everybody is winning because the public interest is being served by all sides," the governor said at a news conference at the state Capitol.

Asked why he would sign one provider fee bill into law and not the other, he said they were different circumstances: "You've got special interests and the public interest, and when they coincide, why, that's a happy day."

read … New nursing home provider fee law meant to sustain elder care in state

Related: Abercrombie Threatens Veto of Hospital Fees Because DoH Isn’t Getting Enough of the Money

Governor Enacts Long-Term Care Facilities Measure

Long term care providers with Governor after the SB2466 signing

News Release from www.Hawaii.gov/gov June 26, 2012

HONOLULU –In support of increasing the sustainability of Hawai'i’s long-term care system, Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed into law Senate Bill 2466. The measure establishes a nursing facility sustainability fee. Fees collected will go towards a Nursing Facility Sustainability Program special fund. These funds will result in matching federal dollars.

“This bill is the result of a collaborative effort by long-term care providers and the State,”stated Governor Abercrombie. “The signing of this measure will enable the Department of Human Services to continue to maintain and provide long-term care assistance to all who need it.”

The Department of Human Services (DHS) will charge and collect a provider fee on health care items or services provided by nursing facilities.

“Hawai'i’s long term care facilities provide compassionate, needed care for our most vulnerable residents,”stated DHS Director Patricia McManaman. “The enhanced revenue from this measure will offset the unreimbursed Medicaid and uninsured costs incurred by long-term care facilities.”

The Nursing Facility Sustainability Program special fund is expected to generate $11.5 million. Twelve percent of the revenue shall be used by the DHS to restore funding for the 3 percent reduction in reimbursements to nursing facilities. In addition, this measure provides that Med-Quest will be able to draw down $9.5 million in federal matching funds and pay the nursing facilities $21 million to cover their uncompensated care losses.

There are 47 other states and the District of Columbia that have a provider fee as a means of drawing down federal funds to sustain their Medicaid programs.

“The provider fee will help preserve access to health care for the Medicaid population and sustain the State’s health care system,”said Governor Abercrombie. “This bill adequately strikes a balance.”

Governor Abercrombie continues to review and sign measures into law. Tomorrow the Governor will be enacting several energy-related bills. He has until July 10 to either veto or sign measures into law, or allow them to become law without his signature.

High resolution photos of today's bill signing ceremony can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilabercrombie/sets/72157630306148758/

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