Interim Update - February 20, 200720-Feb-2007
February 20, 2007
I hope this update finds you all well and successfully "de-iced" from our recent bout of wintry mixes. I continue to look forward to your comments and thoughts as I work steadily here in Annapolis for the 90-day session.
This week I would like to discuss briefly House Bill 130 since I know that the well being of our senior community is so very important to each and every one of us. Over the last four years, Maryland's nursing homes absorbed $120 million in cuts. These cuts limited access and restricted services for Medicaid recipients – who represented 62% of Maryland's nursing home patients in FY 2003 (the most recent data available). HB 130, an administration bill, seeks to restore some of those cuts by boosting Medicaid payments for nursing home stays. The bill would authorize the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene to levy an assessment on nursing home facilities' quarterly profits, excluding Medicare income. The revenue generated, an estimated $21.3 million, would be used to leverage federal matching funds, allowing the state to increase Medicaid nursing facility provider rates by $42.6 million in FY 2008.
For our "younger" generation, I would also like to remind everyone that it is again time for my annual Scholarship Award Program. I have attached the 2007 application for you to share with any students that currently live in District 34A. Please contact my staff at (410) 841-3289 with any questions.
Thank you again for always staying in touch with me and please continue to stay warm!
Very truly yours,
Harford and Cecil Counties