The Florida Legislature increased Medicaid nursing home rates in the state budget by $138 million last year. But the one-time boost is slated to expire on June 30, and unless lawmakers agree to maintain the funding, Florida nursing homes will lose an average $300,000 per year.
In an effort to prevent the funding loss from occurring, AARP Florida is teaming up with the state’s two nursing home associations to lobby the Legislature to make the money recurring. The trio is branding itself the “Coalition for Silver Solutions.”
“One day soon, we will wake up to a Sunshine State that is grayer than almost anyplace on Earth has ever been --- a place where one person in four is 65 or older and more than half of all babies will live to age 100,” Jeff Johnson, state director of AARP Florida, said in a press release. “Our coalition is joining together to urge Florida’s leaders to prepare for this great blessing and new reality. We need a smart approach that makes the most efficient use of public resources, ensuring that we have a robust spectrum of care for older Floridians at every life stage.”
In addition to lobbying the Legislature during the 2019 session for the funding, the group will work over the summer and fall on developing long-term strategies to meet the needs of the state’s large and growing population of seniors, according to the release.