More than $600 million in budgetary appropriations were made by lawmakers to enable long-term care facilities to pay their employees $15 per hour. Medicaid officials require providers to sign a supplemental agreement with the state by October 1 in order to guarantee the funds are used to raise pay. Prior to the deadline, letters were being sent by the Agency for Health Care Administration, which houses the Medicaid offices for the state.
On Monday afternoon, the most recent reminder was distributed. Beginning January 1, 2023, Medicaid providers that fail to pay direct care employees $15 per hour may file a lawsuit against their employer. The sum of any back pay liquidated damages the state levied against a managed care provider (if any), and attorneys’ costs may all be recovered by the workers if they prevail.
The law also enables employees to file a class action lawsuit against their employers if they are not paid the minimum amounts required by law. Since August 4, the pay agreement has been made available on the website of the Medicaid Provider Secure Web Portal. The monies associated with the minimum wage requirement will be recouped from providers that refuse to sign the agreement.
Most companies that participate in Florida’s Medicaid programme, including local governments, are required to pay direct care workers $15 per hour. However, nursing facilities must pay all of their employees a minimum wage of $15 per hour. The majority of providers outside of the required managed care programme who bill Medicaid based on a fee-for-service schedule, as well as managed care organisations, nursing homes, and intermediate care facilities for the developmentally impaired, are subject to increases.
However, not every supplier of fee-for-service will see this increase. The organisation stated that the fee schedules used for paediatric surgical procedures, behaviour analysis, early intervention services, durable medical equipment and medical supply services, and neonatal or obstetrical services provided by the Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center (RPICC), among other services, would not be affected by the price increases.
With effect from October 1, the rates for Medicaid-managed long-term care and mandated medical assistance plans have already been changed to reflect the new minimum wage standards. Voters in Florida approved a constitutional amendment in 2020 that will increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026.
The minimum wage will rise by $1 annually on September 30 until it reaches $15 per hour in 2026. The minimum salary will thereafter be linked to inflation after that. Wilton Simpson, the Senate president, fought for the state fiscal year 2022–2023 budget to include pay raises for all nursing facility personnel, direct care workers, and public employees.