KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Feds Approve More Funding For Medicaid Recipients In Ohio While Health Costs Strain Town Budgets In New Jersey

The Columbus Dispatch: "Federal regulators have approved a state plan to pay hospitals an additional $87 million this year for the care they provide to low-income Ohioans on Medicaid. The funds will be disbursed to hospitals by the end of this month. The bulk payment and a 5 percent increase in Medicaid reimbursement fees effective in October were included in last year's state budget to let hospitals recoup some of the money they were losing through a new state franchise fee. The fee is projected to cost hospitals statewide $718 million over the two-year budget ending June 30, 2011. The two provisions aimed at offsetting that expense will let hospitals recoup $569 million, said Tiffany Himmelreich, spokeswoman for the Ohio Hospital Association" (Candinsky, 7/15).

The Star-Ledger: "New Jersey's new law to limit property tax collections by 2 percent a year took its first hit Wednesday when state officials announced health care costs for towns enrolled in the state's plan will likely rise by about 12 percent. Health care costs are among the exceptions to the 2 percent 'cap' signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Chris Christie, and officials for towns said they will have to pass along the increases through higher taxes. State consultants Wednesday recommended an 11.7 percent for municipalities and 5.7 percent for school districts enrolled in the state's health plan" (Fleisher, 7/15).

The Connecticut Mirror: "Ending the 'fee for service' model that encourages doctors to schedule unnecessary tests and patient visits would be a crucial first step toward reducing a state health care bill that ranks as one of the nation's highest, according to Democratic gubernatorial contender Ned Lamont. The Greenwich businessman unveiled a health care plan this week that also would: expand efforts to allow physicians -- not insurance companies -- to determine state-covered patients' needs; improve health information technology systems; and offer financial incentives to state employees who stay in good shape. The plan earned mixed reviews from one of the state's leading nonprofit, non-partisan health care research organizations" (Phaneuf, 7/15). 

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