(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to devise a Medi-Cal long-term care reimbursement methodology that more effectively ensures individual access to appropriate long-term care services, promotes quality resident care, advances decent wages and benefits for nursing home workers, supports provider compliance with all applicable state and federal requirements, and encourages administrative
(b) The department shall implement a facility-specific ratesetting system, subject to federal approval and the availability of federal funds, that reflects the costs and staffing levels associated with quality of care for residents in nursing facilities, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code, except that the ratesetting system shall not apply to a unit that provides pediatric subacute services in a skilled nursing facility, or to a skilled nursing facility that is designated as an institution for mental diseases, as defined in Section 1396d(i) of Title 42 of the United States Code. The facility-specific ratesetting system shall be effective commencing on August 1, 2005, and shall be implemented commencing on the first day of the month following federal approval. The department may retroactively increase and make payment of rates to facilities.
(c) In implementing this section, the department may contract as necessary, on a bid or nonbid basis, for professional consulting services from nationally recognized higher education and research institutions, or other qualified individuals and entities not associated with a skilled nursing facility, with demonstrated expertise in long-term care reimbursement systems. The ratesetting system specified in subdivision (b) shall be developed with all possible expedience. This subdivision establishes an accelerated process for issuing contracts pursuant to this section and contracts entered into pursuant to this subdivision shall be exempt from the requirements of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 10100) and Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 10290) of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code.
(d) The department shall implement a facility-specific ratesetting system by August 1, 2004, subject to federal approval and
availability of federal or other funds, that reflects the costs and staffing levels associated with quality of care for residents in hospital-based nursing facilities.