Posted by Behavioral Health Billing Solutions, LLC.

Big day at the Ohio Statehouse. Representatives from agencies across Ohio gathered on the Statehouse steps to support Governor Kasich’s veto on Medicaid Expansion and the impact of veto’s on Ohio’s BH Redesign.

Testimony was provided by individuals who not only survived recovery but THRIVED all through the help of Medicaid and the agencies in their communities.

Video from the Ohio Statehouse today

In addition, The Ohio Council provided some excellent information to their members that summarizes what has occurred so far due to the line item veto’s and legislative next steps. Below are some important pieces  of information from their correspondence.

Do your agency a favor and sign up with Ohio Council to become a member today!

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Medicaid Expansion

As expected the Governor issued a number of vetoes that impact the Ohio Medicaid program.  He vetoed the Medicaid enrollment freeze, the controlling board authority over Medicaid expansion appropriations, the increased MCO tax, JMOC oversight of Medicaid rate increases, and requirements for Medicaid to seek an IMD waiver.  There were several other Medicaid related vetoes, which are described below in the “Veto Message” summary released by the Governor’s office.

BH Redesign

Governor Kasich also used the veto pen to remove the six month delay of the transition of behavioral health services into Medicaid managed care (i.e. “carve in”), which restores the date in statute to January 1, 2018. 

The language delaying the BH Redesign coding/rate changes by six months to January 1, 2018, requirements for IT beta testing, and ODM’s obligation to adopt rules and release final provider manuals, IT specs, and training material before October 1, 2017 remains in the budget.  This means the BH coding/rate changes and “carve in” are now both set to occur on January 1, 2018. 

Legislative Next Steps:

 Both the House and Senate scheduled sessions in anticipation of overriding the Governor’s vetoes – so the budget process is not yet over.  A House session is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday), July 6 at 9:00 AM. 

Update: House did not hold a vote to override Governor’s Kasich’s veto of Medicaid Expansion. However, they did vote to override the Governor’s veto to move the date of the Managed Care Carve-in to January 1, 2018 supporting the original final bill date implementation of July 1st, 2018. The override vote was 95 yes’s and 2 no’s. 

The Ohio Senate is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, July 12.  Both chambers are considering a list of items to override, including the Medicaid enrollment freeze and other vetoes impacting the Medicaid expansion group. 

We also understand the BH Redesign veto of the six month delay of the Medicaid managed care “carve in” is on the veto override list in the House.   Both the House and Senate must have a 3/5 majority vote of their chamber to override a veto.  We will keep you updated on what issues are considered and any veto overrides that are approved in the House possibly this week, and possible Senate action next week.  It’s also important to understand there is no time limit on when the legislature can move to override a veto. This is still a fluid process.

“The above section is a snippet from an Ohio Council letter released today to membership”

Keep in mind, House and Senate sessions are available for viewing on their websites. To watch the actual session info, click the appropriate names in “RED” above.

Links to some of the Governor’s Office Summary statements are below.

Top Ten Health Transformation Initiatives in the 2018-2019 Budget

Veto Message

Medicaid Expansion Enrollment Freeze

Stay tuned as we wait and see what happens in the House and Senate over the next week!!