Proposed payment system plan would hurt, not help, care centers

The Archdiocese of Miami’s Catholic Health Services cared for more than 3,500 patients and residents last year in its four skilled nursing and long-term care facilities in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, continuing a 40-year history of providing quality, compassionate care to all faiths.

The proposed Nursing Home Prospective Payment System (PPS) plan included in the Senate’s 2018 budget, which originated with the Navigant study and was subsequently modified by Florida Health Care Association, is not a true Prospective Payment System. This legislation will potentially compromise our high-quality nursing homes, while providing a windfall profit to lower performing nursing homes. The proposed PPS system continues to utilize cost-based methodologies without taking into consideration the needs of the nursing home residents.

We recommend that the Legislature instruct the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to conduct a study which focuses on the residents’ needs, and develop a “Resident-centered Prospective Payment System” (RCPPS) which takes into account, but is not limited to, the resident’s medical condition, functional status (ADL’s), cognitive status, and behavioral issues, thus creating a “Resident Classification System” allowing for appropriate allocation of resources similar to a DRG system for hospitals. In addition, the RCPPS payment model will financially incentivize payments for meeting certain pre-determined quality performance measures.

I strongly urge our lawmakers to seriously consider this issue and delay any action until a resident-centered system can be created by the AHCA.

The Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski is the Archbishop of Miami.