February 29, 2024

Fiscal bill's FSSA transparency advances for 'fair discussion' – but final language to be negotiated

Listen at IPB News

Article origination IPB News
House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) said the amendments put the reporting requirements on the table for a “fair discussion,” but the conference committee will determine the final requirements for FSSA.  - Brandon Smith/IPB News

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) said the amendments put the reporting requirements on the table for a “fair discussion,” but the conference committee will determine the final requirements for FSSA.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

The House approved several amendments to a fiscal bill Thursday to address transparency concerns around the Family and Social Services Administration.

The amendments expand reporting requirements for the agency, but some of them may not make it into the final bill.

Some of the amendments require a more detailed outline on why there was a $1 billion Medicaid shortfall, and reports on how the shift from attendant care to Structured Family Caregiving affects Hoosier families.

If the House passes SB 256, it will go to a conference committee where lawmakers will find acceptable language for both chambers to vote on. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) said the amendments put the reporting requirements on the table for a “fair discussion,” but the conference committee will determine the final requirements for FSSA.

“We've got to sort out, and that will be done in conference,” Thompson said. “Exactly where do we need to land in terms of what's the right amount of reporting, but likewise not become an issue where that becomes the full time job is preparing reports.”
 

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues, including our project Civically, Indiana and our 2024 legislative bill tracker.
 

The House also approved amendments that address some of the concerns around the shift from attendant care to the Structured Family Caregiving program set to happen in July.

Thompson introduced an amendment that would require at least 80 percent of the money given to providers for the program to be paid to the family caregivers. FSSA is unsure how much money made it to caregivers on the attendant care program, but reports from families indicated that it was less than half.

Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) introduced another amendment that would require FSSA to apply for an amendment to a home and community based services waiver.

Through that process, it can either establish another reimbursement tier under the Structured Family Caregiving program or allow legally responsible individuals to provide attendant care for Medicaid recipients who require “extraordinary care.”

“There is a segment of the population currently receiving attendant care, for whom structured family caregiving may not be adequate,” Clere said.
 


Legislative efforts to actually postpone the proposed cuts to the attendant care program have been unsuccessful.

The bill now moves to third reading where lawmakers will debate its merit as a whole.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

Copyright 2024 IPB News.
Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

Related News

Free condoms, Plan B pills and Narcan provided at new vending machine on near east side
Indiana hospital receives 'high performing' designation for maternal outcomes among Black patients
Lawmakers in some states say they want to protect IVF services. But how can they do that effectively?