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Ohio House Overrides Governor’s Veto on Nursing Home Rates, MLTSS

Ohio House Overrides Governor’s Veto
on Nursing Home Rates, MLTSS

This morning the Ohio House of Representatives voted to override 11 of the Governor’s 47 line-item vetoes, including those affecting nursing facility payment rates and Medicaid MLTSS (Managed Long Term Services and Supports). 

Budget: From Proposal to Today

In January the Governor’s budget proposed a significant 7 percent cut to nursing home funding, a move which was untenable for an industry already in the midst of a workforce shortage.  LeadingAge Ohio advocacy efforts focused on restoring these cuts. When the House released the substitute Budget Bill in April, they added additional funding ($100 million over the biennium) for nursing homes to mitigate the proposed cuts and also proposed changes to the established funding formula in statute. Similarly, the Senate approved the additional funding and language. 

Although these were favorable changes to the nursing home funding formula, on Friday, the Governor struck a substantial portion of them from the Budget Bill, leaving only sections which created an annual cap and those which addressed alternative payment models. Statutory fee-for-service rate protection has provided a measure of financial assurance for nursing homes in prior budgets and this will not change with either the veto which would revert to current law, or an override which would enact the changes as passed by the House and Senate. This is important to nursing facilities as we navigate MLTSS.  

On Medicaid MLTSS, the Governor vetoed: 1) those sections of code which would create a “study committee” to examine the merits of including long-term services and supports (LTSS) in managed care; and 2) required the General Assembly’s authorization for inclusion of LTSS into a managed care.  The House’s “supermajority” votes to override the Governor’s vetoes restores language in each of these areas. The Senate still must take action on the vetoes for the language to stand. 

In light of any uncertainty regarding how these MLTSS areas will unfold, we are very pleased that our advocacy efforts have created a seat at the table for the emerging MLTSS framework so that the voice for LeadingAge Ohio members will be heard in the development of the MLTSS procurement process.  

What's Next?

Those seasoned in the Ohio budget process can’t remember a time in Ohio history when the General Assembly exercised its power to override a veto on a budget bill, so these are truly unprecedented times. LeadingAge Ohio is working closely with our lobbyists and partners in the General Assembly to achieve an outcome which is favorable to our members, recognizing that payment protection is chief among their concerns. 

We anticipate a call to action to specific Senators as the veto-override process moves to the Senate for their vote, anticipated July 12th.

To review the complete list of vetoes, click here. Items 27 and 30 apply to nursing home rates and MLTSS, respectively. 

To visit the page for HB 49, including legislative summaries and copies of the bill, click here. 

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