On June 30th, the Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, signed the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Act into law. Amongst the budgetary highlights of the spending agenda were investments targeting seniors, including those within the state’s many nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

As reimbursement rates continue to be impacted, both healthcare providers and laboratories like Aculabs remain vigilante over news that could affect an industry as fragile as long-term care.

Organizations like the Health Care Association of New Jersey (HCANJ) advocate on the part of nursing home residents and the providers who ensure they continually receive the kind of high quality care they need that is unique to the rest of the population.

As reported by the HCANJ, the FY 2024 State Budget legislation includes an additional “$45 million in state funding [for nursing homes] above the $15 million more that Governor Murphy had proposed for FY 2024 on top of the current FY 2023 State budget. The net gain with federal match over FY 2023: $120 Million.

While various amounts of money were dedicated for skilled nursing facilities, specific budget items targeted towards both assisted living and comprehensive personal care homes were not included in the state budget. However, per the HCANJ, legislation is expected to be codified into law that will still positively impact the rates received by healthcare provides:

The budget committee-approved State Budget legislation does not provide an increase for assisted living providers. However, this was deemed already addressed because of legislation expected to be enacted that will codify the tiered rate increase provided in the current FY 2023 State Budget for assisted living facilities, comprehensive personal care homes and assisted living programs, based on Medicaid occupancy. That funding comes from American Rescue Plan dedicated dollars that end March 2024.

This bill extends the additional reimbursement beyond then. According to DHS, the provisions of the bill, as well as a $20 increase in the existing per diem rate for assisted living programs are projected to utilize $6.5 million in State funds and $6.5 million in federal funds annually.

Lastly, adult medical day care centers will also be impacted by changes within the new state budget. While the HCANJ advocated for a proposed 8% increase in rates, the FY 2024 budget is reported to still include a 4% funding increase, raising per diem Medicaid rates.

Such inclusions see the overall increase in budgetary items aimed at the long-term care industry as a gain of over $142 Million in funding.