Ohio nursing homes would get a $615 million infusion if the state Senate follows the House’s lead and votes to approve the measure. The House approved the funding by a 63-12 vote Thursday, shortly after publicly airing a modified proposal for the first time.

Senate Bill 110 would combine $204 million in state money with a $411 million federal match. It is endorsed by both provider and consumer groups such as AARP.

Forty percent of the funding would be allocated using the state funding system based on direct care, ancillary support, capital and tax costs. The rest would go to facilities that satisfy quality of care incentives related to health outcomes such as rates of residents who experience pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections, lost movement ability and catheter insertion.

Opponents claim the bill would grant funding without assurances it would better pay for better care, or help nurses and other workers.

Earlier this year, in the face of criticism of allegedly lax state quality incentive standards, the state’s provider associations jointly proposed adding new quality incentives.

State Rep. Jay Edwards (R) defended the bill.

“The feds have seven measures; Ohio uses four of the most basic ones,” he said. “I’m not opposed to adding the other three (in the) next budget cycle, as long as we continue steering the ship towards new money going to quality.”

The bill originally included carve-outs for rent relief and money for the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Those were dropped during House floor rewrites.

GOP House Speaker Bob Cupp said time was of the essence due to the sector’s financial woes and the looming year end.

“I think there is a clear urgency, and many nursing homes are having financial difficulty,” Cupp said. “It’s important to preserve the capacity so that when people actually need to be there, they have some place to go.”

Discussed but left out of the bill was an idea to have Medicaid pay for private rooms as a way to boost care quality. The legislation orders the state’s department of Medicaid to deliver a report on the state’s number of private rooms in nursing homes now available.