Governor Inslee recently shared budget decision packages that were submitted by the various state agencies to the Office of Financial Management (OFM). These budget requests will be considered by the governor in forming his proposed budget for the 2017-2018 biennium. We anticipate seeing the governor’s budget in mid-December. The decision package highlights include:
Health Care Authority (HCA). The agency is requesting authority to spend $537 million federal funds received under the state’s Medicaid transformation waiver. It also has a number of budget adjustments, for Certified Public Expenditure hospitals, administration of the Hospital Safety Net Assessment program and lower-than-expected savings from behavioral health integration. In addition, the agency is asking for a telephone consultation line staffed by psychiatric professionals to support primary care providers caring for patients receiving pain management services.
Department of Health (DOH). DOH is requesting $60 million in state funds to support and fill critical gaps in statewide core public health services like disease prevention, tracking outbreaks and emergency preparedness. Of the $60 million, $50 million would go to local public health departments, $6 million to DOH and $4 million to support public health modernization.
DSHS mental health. The agency is requesting $18.5 million to reduce the number of patients who are awaiting treatment at the hospital in the involuntary treatment system (civil), as well as the provide criminal/forensic evaluations and treatment of those found not guilty by reason of insanity. It appears most of the investments requested are for the forensic system.
Aging and Long Term Support Administration. The agency is requesting authority to spend approximately $59 million of federal funds under the Medicaid transformation waiver for initiatives for family caregivers, supportive housing and employment services. The agency is also asking for funds to increase nursing home rates in rural areas where acuity levels are lower but the current rate structure is insufficient to support the rural nursing homes.