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Nursing homes to ask for salary-cap exemption

The Florida Health Care Association says non-profit nursing homes may be unintentionally hurt by a bill intended to cap salaries in child-protection agencies that receive funding from the state.

Kristen Knapp, spokeswoman for FHCA, said the group will ask  Sen. Ronda Storms, sponsor of SB 596, to add an exemption for nursing homes.

It is unclear whether other health-care non-profits would be affected. The bill calls for caps in groups that get most of their funds from the state, but it includes federal funding that flows through the state.

That appears to include Medicaid but not Medicare. At many long-term-care facilities, most residents' care is paid by Medicaid; by contrast, most hospital funds come from Medicare or commercial insurance.

“As it reads now, the bill would unintentionally put non-profit (long-term-care) facilities at a competitive disadvantage to the 80 percent of for-profit facilities operating in the state,” Knapp said.

Caps on executive salaries aren't needed in the industry, Knapp said. "The Medicaid cost reporting system already has checks and balances in place related to salaries within the payment rate system."

Lottie Watts covers health and health policy for Health News Florida, now a part of WUSF Public Media. She also produces Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show.