December 9, 2004
NURSING HOME PROVIDER TAX DEBATE—FOLLOW UP REPORT
By: Robin K. Cohen, Principal Analyst
This is a follow-up to a recent OLR report (2004-R-0857) in which we presented the pros and cons of a nursing home provider tax, as voiced by the for-profit and nonprofit nursing home trade groups during the 2004 bill's public hearing.
As we indicated in the above-referenced report, the Senate considered an amendment to SB 565 in the waning hours of the legislative session. According to an item on the Connecticut Association of Not-for-Profit Providers for the Aging's (CANPFA) website recapping the 2004 session, the amendment would have apparently addressed CANPFA's concerns. The specific provisions in the amendment that the group points to include:
1. returning the collected “user fee” in the form of an additional $35 per diem added to a home's Medicaid rate, which would not be subject to the statutory nursing home rate caps;
2. requiring the fees to be deposited into a separate nursing home budget account;
3. allowing the first year of the rate add-on to be used for any purpose, with half of subsequent years' add-ons earmarked for staffing; and
4. exempting continuing care retirement communities from the fee and allowing the tax to be implemented only if the federal government granted the state a waiver for this exemption.
It appears that had the amendment passed, CANPFA would have supported the legislation.