Governor’s executive budget renews partnership with hospitals

Governor Haley has released her executive budget, including funding for mental health and Medicaid.

Governor Haley has released her $6.6 billion executive budget, vowing to keep job creation, the economy and infrastructure funding at the top of her priority list for the upcoming fiscal year. Haley also proposed funding increases for mental health, Medicaid and renewed efforts to work with South Carolina hospitals to reduce emergency room utilization and improve health outcomes.

One of the major themes of Haley’s executive budget for 2014-2015 is protecting South Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens. She is proposing a 41% increase in mental health spending that will result in a significant bump in funding for DMH (a 5% increase, more than any other agency), as well as increases in Medicaid spending and a renewed partnership with health care providers to improve health outcomes. All in all, the Governor’s executive budget includes a $56 million increase in general fund support for Medicaid, $21 million in non-recurring funds to Medicaid, as well as continued Medicaid funding from the cigarette tax and the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

Haley’s proposed plan also includes the “Medicaid Healthcare Outcomes Initiative,” a continuation of last year’s “Proviso 33.34” that increased Medicaid and DSH reimbursement for participating health care providers. This year we will be following Proviso 33.26 and hope to work closely with DHHS to improve the state’s health outcomes and address high-frequency emergency room users.

It should be noted that as expected, the Governor’s budget plan did not include funding for the Certificate of Need (CON) program, but did maintain that the review of CON and non-applicability requests be reviewed and approved within specified time frames, as long as they are consistent with the State Health Plan. SCHA continues to support efforts to restore and strengthen South Carolina’s CON program.

Click here to see Governor Haley’s full Executive Budget for 2014-2015.