Missouri Governor: Special Session For Healthnet Program Funding

JEFFERSON CITYMO (STL.News) Governor Mike Parson announced a special session beginning Wednesday, June 23 at 12:00 p.m., to focus on extending the Federal Reimbursement Allowances (FRA) and related allowances, taxes, and assessments necessary for funding MO HealthNet before cost-savings measures are needed on July 1.

“After laying out the grim reality of our state’s financial future if FRA is not extended, I believe legislators have now agreed to a compromise that will end this stalemate, so today I am announcing a special session to begin tomorrow at noon,” Governor Parson said.  “We appreciate the continued efforts of House and Senate leadership to work with us towards a solution, and we are thankful that we are now in a position that warrants a call to special session.”

“Let me be clear, now is a time that demands leadership among legislators and not an opportunity to play games with billions of dollars and millions of livelihoods in pursuit of narrow political interests,” Governor Parson said.

FRA is a program that spans multiple decades and was born from a public-private partnership between Missouri hospitals and state government to support the MO HealthNet program.  The FRA provides funding to various health care providers across the state, including hospitals, pharmacies, mental health facilities, nursing facilities, emergency medical service providers, and others.

The Fiscal Year 2022 operating budget includes estimated revenue from the FRA program and other allowances, taxes, and assessments to fund primary components of the MO HealthNet program.  Failure to extend these programs would cost the state of Missouri an estimated $591 million in FY22 and $788 million in FY23.  Payments from the MO HealthNet program would also be reduced by $1.52 billion in FY22 and $2 billion in FY23 if these programs are not extended.

Allowing the FRA program and other allowances to expire would require the state to take immediate cost-savings measures, including rate decreases, elimination of non-mandatory programs, changes to fee schedules, and budget restrictions and vetoes.

“The FRA program reduces the burden of MO HealthNet expenditures on the state budget and maximizes federal dollars coming to Missouri, and House and Senate leadership and Missourians know the detrimental consequences if FRA is not extended,” Governor Parson said.  “It is unacceptable to jeopardize critical investments in priorities like education, workforce development, and infrastructure, and we must get this done quickly to protect Missourians and continue investing in Missouri’s future generations.”

The special session will focus on extending certain allowances, taxes, and assessments that fund the MO HealthNet program.  Specifically, Governor Parson’s special session call is to:

  • Extend the expiration of the ground ambulance service reimbursement allowance
  • Extend the expiration of the nursing facility reimbursement allowance
  • Extend the expiration of the Medicaid managed care organization reimbursement allowance
  • Extend the expiration of the FRA program
  • Extend the expiration of the pharmacy tax
  • Extend the expiration of the intermediate care facility for the intellectually disabled assessment
  • Prohibit abortifacient drugs and devices
  • Prohibits funding for abortion facilities under the Uninsured Women’s Health Program
  • Allow the Senate to consider appointments that require the advice and consent of the Senate

The special session proclamation will be uploaded to Governor Parson’s website once it is available.

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