JFC passed an omnibus motion on the Department of Health Services (DHS) budget, specifically addressing Medicaid, public health, FoodShare, behavioral health, and quality assurance.
Overall, the motion spends:
- $187 million (in all funds) less than the governor’s proposal in 2019-20.
- $1.6 billion (in all funds) more in 2019-20 compared to the base year doubled.
As anticipated, the omnibus motion does not expand Medicaid, as proposed by Gov. Evers. JFC removed the Medicaid expansion provision in their May 9 executive session. The committee also declined to include Gov. Evers’s proposal to require DHS to seek federal approval of a waiver to implement a community health benefit focusing on social determinants of health.
Specifically, the Medicaid provisions in the motion:
- For Medical Assistance, increase base funding by $356 million GPR over the two-year budget to ensure adequate cost-to-continue funding.
- For hospitals, provide an additional $30 million GPR per year for disproportionate share hospital payments, an additional $2 million GPR per year for rural critical access hospitals, and no increase to critical access hospital payments.
- Regarding telehealth, expand the definition of telehealth to allow DHS to develop reimbursement policies for any Medical Assistance service rendered through telehealth technology (currently, only real-time interactions between a provider and a patient are eligible for reimbursement) and increase funding for telehealth reimbursement by $2.7 million GPR over the two-year budget.
- Increase base funding by $89,900 GPR and $808,900 FED in 2020-21 for supportive services under the Medicaid medical home health benefit for persons with substance abuse disorders. DHS could make a request to JFC to use these funds for “hub-and-spoke” treatment model funding increases.
- Maintain the current four-county dental Medical Assistance reimbursement pilot but do not provide an overall increase to dental MA reimbursements.
The DHS motion also includes $3 million for a grant program for nitrate testing in private wells and provides $100,000 GPR for the Division of Public Health to conduct a public outreach program on vaccination.
In the June 4 executive session, JFC also adopted an omnibus motion on the Department of Children & Families, increasing the DCF budget by $125.5 million in the 2019-21 biennium. Included in the motion is $3 million in total increases to the Family Foundations Home Visiting program.