ElderHands
Issue Background

Preserve Nursing Center Certificate of Need

FHCA is asking legislators to remove nursing centers from Senate Bill 676 by Sen. Rob Bradley (R-5 ) and House Bill 7 by Rep. Alex Miller (R-72), which deregulates Certificate of Need process for nursing centers and hospices, as well as other health care providers.

The current nursing center CON process, reformed in 2014,  is working well to ensure managed growth where there is a demonstrated need for nursing center beds in areas that are underserved. Seniors now have access to 30 new nursing centers and almost 4,000 beds.

 

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The 2014 Legislature unanimously reformed the nursing center Certificate of Need (CON) law, fostering a market-oriented and investment-friendly climate for sustainable growth of nursing center services in Florida.

Today’s CON process ensures nursing centers are built in rural/underserved areas. Underutilized beds in communities are moving to those areas where there is a need for nursing center services, on the demand for those services in areas where the Agency for Health Care Administration has determined it is needed most. 

Florida’s aging baby boomers now have access to 30 new/expanded nursing centers and almost 4,000 new beds.

The current CON process helps preserve nursing center occupancy rates, which delivers cost savings to Florida’s Medicaid program. *A 1% drop in Florida’s nursing center occupancy rate results in an $11 million increase in the Nursing Center Medicaid line item.

Operating a nursing center with empty beds is inefficient; this leads to reduced investments which are needed to renovate buildings, upgrade medical technologies and modernize services to enhance resident quality care.

Florida’s nursing centers are facing a shortage of nurses and certified nursing assistants to meet the state’s future elder care demands. Without CON, unmanaged growth would lead to more beds than there are qualified staff available to care for residents. This would cause quality care to decline, putting Florida’s seniors at greater risk.

Florida has a long-standing commitment to helping elders remain in their own home environments as long as possible. The current CON process helps the state achieve that commitment.

Florida Health Care Association is asking the Legislature to remove nursing centers from being included in Senate Bill 676 and House Bill 7 and preserve the effective Certificate of Need process for nursing centers.

Read the Issue Brief here.

Watch the Feb. 15, 2017 House Health Innovation Subcommittee meeting on CON.