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Budget Update

Posted: March 20, 2015

The House Finance committee, Division III has nearly completed their work on the state budget. Division III was responsible for the Department of Health and Human Services’ budget. The following are changes (from the Governor’s proposed budget) the committee has recommended to the full Finance committee. The House Finance committee (as a whole) will vote on the entire budget on Monday, March 23. The NH House votes on the entire budget on April 1. Please note that there have been some changes from previous decisions of the Division.

The following reductions will mean that the waiting lists for DD, ABD and IHS will increase dramatically over the next two years. In addition, the 11,000 families who benefit from Family Support will see services such as respite care or environmental modification reduced or eliminated. 

 

Medicaid and Family Support Funding: The Developmental Disability, Acquired Brain Disorder, In Home Support and Family Support budgets have been reduced by a total of $26 million in general funds (State funds) or $52 million in total funds (State and Federal). In addition, the 3 Medicaid Waiver programs or accounts will consolidated into a single account. The reduction to Family Support will be “proportional” to the $52 million reduction. The funds will be non-lapsing, meaning if any dollars are not used in the first year of the new budget they will automatically be transferred to the second year of the biennium.

Optional Medicaid Services (Medical Services): The budget includes language that eliminates many optional Medicaid services for adults over 21 years of age. Please see the attached amendment for the complete list of services that were eliminated.

Medicaid Managed Care:  The Division adopted language allowing the two Medicaid Managed Care Organizations to use their own preferred prescription drug lists. The Division also adopted language that requires DHHS to realize about $7 million of savings in year two (FY ’17) by moving forward with Step 2 of Medicaid managed care. Finally, the Division adopted language that forbids DHHS from setting the reimbursement rates for Step 2 providers in year one of the program. DHHS had planned to set rates for Step 2 providers in year one of Step 2. This will no longer be the case under the Division’s budget. The specific language only references CFI and Nursing Services. Please note that the budget no longer assumes Area Agency Step 2 savings as an earlier proposal had contemplated.

Area Agency Consolidation: Thanks to the work of The Community Support Network, Inc. educating key lawmakers, the Division III recommended budget does not include language requiring savings from Area Agency consolidation. There is budget language requiring savings from DHHS District Office (DO) consolidation.

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