HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – State lawmakers are considering a bill that would provide additional funding to facilities prioritizing ventilation and tracheostomy care.
The objective is to have more specialized care establishments capable of providing this care, leaving more room for the hospital.
House Bill 1012 is currently under consideration by the Senate Committee on Health and Social Services.
It was passed by the state House of Representatives last week.
The sponsors of the bill, Reps Tim O’Neil and Sheryl Delozier, say the pandemic has forced us to quickly understand how precious ventilators are.
This legislation would direct more Medicaid funds to qualified nursing facilities showing a commitment to patients on a ventilator or with a tracheostomy, which is an opening that provides direct access to the trachea to relieve obstructive breathing.
Specifically, the bill would provide an additional $ 130 per day for a Medicaid ventilator or qualifying tracheostomy.
O’Neil says Medicaid reimbursement for this type of care has been limited over the past decade, and having these resources in specialized care facilities can help keep patients out of expensive hospital beds or to be placed away from loved ones.
Delozier says establishments specializing in ventilation and tracheostomy cannot offset the low level of reimbursement, and several have closed in the past year, making such care even more critical.
The legislation would also create an incentive for facilities to increase geographic access to ventilation and tracheostomy care.