Last Friday marked the beginning of the end of the 2019 legislative session. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted their version of the budget bill out of committee, which usually means there are about two weeks to go – time enough for the full Senate to consider the bill on the floor, followed by a conference committee and final votes in both bodies. I’m pleased to report that Senate Appropriations supported the 2% Medicaid rate increase for home health, hospice and Choices for Care that was proposed by the House. While I always operate on the assumption that anything can happen until the bill is signed by the Governor, having the increase in both the House and Senate versions of the budget bill is a strong position at this point in the session.