published on February 29, 2016 - 11:06 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

California lawmakers voted today in favor of the state’s revamped Managed Care Organization (MCO) financing package providing millions of dollars to hospital-based skilled nursing facilities throughout the state.

Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) was among the few Republican supporters of the bill, which is expected to bring millions to his district, including $800,000 to Kaweah Delta. 

“The MCO tax reform package is good fiscal policy for California and directly helps some of our state’s most vulnerable Medi-Cal and developmentally disabled patients,” Mathis said in a prepared statement. “This bill package creates a net $100 million tax savings and will allow more than $1 billion of Californian’s federal tax dollars to return to our state in the form of matching funds.”

According to the statement, Mathis was a member of the Republican negotiating team working with Governor Jerry Brown’s office to secure the claw back language in the Managed Care Organization bill package, in which he is a co-author. 

Mathis was among several local lawmakers named in a letter published by Kaweah Delta Health Care District last week, encouraging state senators and assembly members to pass the bill. 

In the statement, Kaweah Delta CEO Lindsay Mann said the bill will help restore distinct-part skilled nursing facilities’ funding, which was originally slashed in 2011. 

“We need to restore the funding to these critical facilities that service primarily vulnerable Medi-Cal patients,” he said. 

The California Hospital Association (CHA) also supported the tax package and the group issued a release today applauding the bipartisan passage in both houses. 

“Today’s passage of the Managed Care Organization tax package will prevent clawing back of previously made payments to hospital-based skilled nursing facilities and will help prevent the closure of vital hospitals without imposing any new burden on state taxpayers,” the statement read.

According to the CHA, Medi-Cal beneficiaries make up nearly 80 percent of the patients receiving hospital-based skilled-nursing care. In the last several years, nearly one-third of such facilities have closed in California due to financial pressures. 

The Managed Care Organization will now go to the governor’s office, where it is expected to be signed into law. 

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