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Ohio House Passes Quality Payment Bill

Last month, the House and Senate agreed on small changes to Senate Bill 264 (read the bill, including the new quality measures by clicking here), introduced by Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) to provide for quality incentive payments and bonuses as part of the skilled nursing facility Medicaid reimbursement program. The bill was amended in the House Finance and Appropriations Committee and reported out of committee on Dec. 13. On Dec. 14, the House voted unanimously to pass the legislation and the Senate unanimously accepted the House’s amendments. The bill was signed into law by Governor Kasich on Dec. 21.

The first amendment addressed the quality measure regarding assigning consistent support staff to nursing facilities, requiring a facility’s staffing policy to be communicated to families of residents. The second amendment added a statement of intent to periodically amend the quality measures in a manner that satisfies accountability requirements and eventually allows for differentiation between higher and lower quality skilled nursing facilities. The amendment states the intent of the committee is to continue to amend the law. Two other proposed House amendments, one regarding a new quality measure on staffing levels and the other to change the way bonus payments are calculated using excess funds remaining when facilities do not meet all five quality measure points, were not adopted.

Neither amendment affects hospice’s inclusion in the room and board payment. Midwest Care Alliance is working with the Department of Job and Family Services, and will follow up with our members, as well as the nursing home associations, to ensure understanding that the new quality incentive payment is also a component of the hospice room and board rate. For further information, contact Katie Rogers or Jeff Lycan.