Legislative leadership has appointed the 6-member FY2024 Budget Conference members to reconcile differences between the branches’ separate recommendations.
The Committee members are:
- Senate Members – Chairman Aaron Michlewitz, Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Todd Smola; and
- House Members – Chairman Michael Rodrigues, Cindy Friedman, Patrick O'Connor.
We are pleased to report that both branches’ recommendations, consistent with MSCA’s FY 2024 funding request, totaling $283 million over the current FY 2023 Medicaid nursing facility budget appropriation. The identical recommendations will maintain the new $165 million December 2023 rate update, expand the $50 per day per member Medicaid SUD add-on to all facilities, and will fund an additional $118 million in Rate Year 2024 to cover resident care and workforce costs. Mass Senior Care extends its strong appreciation to Senate President Spilka, House of Representative Speaker Mariano, Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues and House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz and the entire legislature for continuing to prioritize the safety and well-being of nursing facility residents and their caregivers.
In addition, the Conference Committee will need to reconcile a number of important workforce initiatives that impact the nursing facility provider community, including:
- Applying a portion of the revenue that will be generated from the new surtax on high earners to establish a new $20 million scholarship program to provide financial assistance to students from the commonwealth who are enrolled in or are in the process of enrolling in a nursing program of higher education at a community college in the commonwealth; and
- Requiring the board of registration in nursing to allow faculty whose highest earned degree is a baccalaureate degree in nursing to teach the clinical or skills lab component of a course in a registered nursing program.
The Conference Committee is meeting and are hoping to conclude their deliberations prior to the start of the FY 2024 fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2023.