March 17, 2022

HOUSE PASSES $27 MILLION TO SUPPORT NURSING FACILITIES

DENVER, CO – The House today passed legislation sponsored by Representatives Leslie Herod and Julie McCluskie to provide an additional $27 million to skilled nursing facilities that are Medicaid providers. The vote was 59-4.

“Some skilled nursing facilities are at risk of closing because they don’t have enough staff or revenue to cover their expenses,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “We’re taking swift action to stabilize nursing facilities in Colorado by distributing $27 million in state and federal funds. This assistance will keep thousands of Coloradans from being forced out of where they live.

“Colorado’s skilled nursing facilities need assistance, and we’re delivering with $27 million in state and federal funds to help them stay open and attract the workforce they need,” said JBC Chair Rep. Julie McCluskie. “This funding will be directed at the facilities with the greatest need to shore up their finances so Coloradans won’t lose access to affordable skilled nursing options.”

HB22-1247 would direct additional payments to skilled nursing facilities that are Medicaid providers to help them address staffing shortages, provide quality care and support their short term solvency. Our state investment of $17 million will draw additional $10 million in federal dollars, bringing the total additional funding for nursing homes to $27 million. The bill also instructs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to seek additional opportunities to draw down federal funds. The legislation also requires the department to establish reporting and result tracking requirements. Nursing facilities across Colorado, especially those with Medicaid patients, have faced funding and staffing challenges, and some have struggled to stay open. At the same time, nurse staffing agencies and travel nursing agencies have been able to attract providers with higher wages than what facilities that care for Medicaid clients can pay, exacerbating the staffing challenges at nursing facilities that are Medicaid providers.