The 438th session of the Maryland General Assembly will convene in Annapolis, Maryland January 10 to April 9, 2018.
As this is an election year, expect to see a great number of bill's to be introduced. Things for COGS members to expect:
· It is very possible that the push for increased minimum wage to as much as $15 per hour will pass. We must be aware of what this will mean for seniors needing services.
· For industries that are Medicaid approved, costs will increase but revenue will not since the State is generally a few years behind in increasing reimbursements when new mandates are passed. .
· Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' proposed rule that would reduce Medicare payments by 0.4 percent, or $80 million, in 2018, and up to $950 million in 2019 will have a significant effect on home health care services as it very specifically makes cuts in this area.
· The Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) will appropriate $2 million to targeting this epidemic that has affected our entire State. Overdose prevention and education programs will be increased.
While many COGS members are not specifically in healthcare, all of the above could have a significant effect on the cost of doing business and the ability of seniors to pay for non-medical services as well.
More specific information will be available as we move forward. The legislative committee will be researching and reporting on all industries that relate to COGS members and not just healthcare in the future.
Please take the time to visit the Maryland General Assembly site for Howard County and find your representative(s). It’s important for you to let them know how their work affects your business, your customers and your family. If you do not live in Howard County, please find your correct county information as your representative is based on your home address.
Remember that they are receiving information about bills and proposals from many different directions. It’s not easy for them to understand the long range effect of these proposals without your input.
If you would like to be a member of the COGS Legislative Committee or have questions, please contact Lee Ann Stedman 410-610-1805 or firstname.lastname@example.org