Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew on Wednesday issued an emergency order giving nursing homes an extra month to pay their March bed tax bill.
“The mission critical facilities and staff working around the clock to protect Floridians from COVID-19 deserve relief from financial burdens as they focus on this emergency,” Mayhew said in a news release.
“Nursing homes and Intermediate Care Facilities serve some of Florida’s most vulnerable populations, and these facilities are facing greater staffing demands and requirements for personal protective equipment and other necessary supplies. The Agency for Health Care Administration is committed to ensuring providers have every resource needed to safeguard their residents.”
The emergency order came hours after Tom Parker of the Florida Health Care Association said its member facilities were anxious about the looming April 20 deadline.
Nursing homes must pay a monthly quality assessment fee, or bed tax, on services provided based on the number of patient days in each facility. Total collections for the tax due April 20, calculated based on March data, would have been $36 million.
The extension comes as nursing homes have seen a spike in the cost of business.
The coronavirus pandemic has necessitated hiring more workers, paying current staff overtime wages and a sharp increase in the amount of personal protective equipment run through.
An unknown number of Florida nursing homes have reported coronavirus cases among their residents and staff, though the state only discloses total cases at long-term care facilities without any details on where they are.