As you know, the state legislature passed a bipartisan budget early this morning. There are dozens of various bills to go through to get a comprehensive view of this legislative session – but I thought I’d go through and give a quick budget summary before my more comprehensive session review this weekend… so here’s a teaser blog post:
Postpartum physical and behavioral health care for pregnant women will be expanded to 12 months after the child is born (up to 150% of the federal poverty level).
The Medicaid pregnancy provider rate will increase by 88% for certain pregnancy care provider codes (procedure codes 59400, 59510, 59160, and 59618).
Access to Care
KidsCare members will be able to remain eligible for 12 months ($3M).
There will be a new AHCCCS chiropractic care benefit (when ordered by a primary care physician or primary care practitioner). Up to 20 visits/year.
Behavioral health providers will be added to the ADHS’ student loan repayment program (for those that agree to work in public or non-profit BH hospitals, BH residential facilities, and secure BH facilities including the Arizona State Hospital.
There will be $105M invested in various programs to enhance the nursing workforce, including:
- Nurse education programs for universities and community college districts to supplement their existing nurse education programs;
- Money for institutions that provide clinical training to nurses;
- Transition to practice program – this is intended to provide access to a “nurse residency” program for new graduate nurses for hospitals and facilities that do not already have such a program;
- Behavioral health technician training programs; and
- ‘Accelerated’ nursing programs ($6 million to Creighton, $44 million to other universities)
A new general fund appropriation was established ($25M) developing secure BH residential facilities. The goal is to develop 3 facilities in central AZ, and 1 each in northern and southern AZ. Priority populations are persons with SMI diagnoses who are chronically resistant to treatment and have been court ordered to a secure facility.
The Arizona State Hospital can give out up to $700,000 in hiring bonuses this fiscal year. ASH will also enjoy an additional $7M appropriation for upgraded video and audio capabilities.
Human Services & Housing
ADES’ Adult Protective Services will receive an increase in funding so hire an additional 95 staff ($11M). Note: This has been badly needed for many years.
Development Disabilities providers will receive a 9.7% rate increase. The reimbursement rate for Elderly and Physically Disabled providers will increase by 11% (for both home and community-based services and skilled nursing facilities). Note: This appears to be over and above the more than $1B AHCCCS Home & Community Based Services Action Plan funded with American Rescue Plan Act money.
There is an increase in the Independent Living Stipend for youth aging out of foster care to “not less than $1200”. There is an increase in the kinship stipend to $300 per month per child.
‘Food Banking’ will get an additional $500M. No real detail on the guardrails for those funds yet.
The Housing Trust Fund (administered by the Arizona Department of Housing) will receive an additional $60M next fiscal year.
Another $15M is earmarked for ‘homelessness’ but with few details about how that can be used (at least there will be a new administration for half of the fiscal year).