Safety-Net Hospitals Worry About New Medicaid Cuts
Medicaid reimbursement reductions loom in many states which could endanger safety-net hospitals that did not fare well during the pandemic. News on Medicaid is also reported from Missouri, Arkansas, South Carolina and Mississippi.
Threat Of Medicaid Cuts Weighs On Outlook For Safety-Net Providers
It’s budget season in most states, meaning safety-net hospitals are anxiously waiting to hear whether their Medicaid payments will be cut. The concerns regarding Medicaid reimbursement reductions are greater given the pandemic-related threat of an economic downturn, which generally translates to more people being added to the program when tax revenue may be falling. “It’s this perfect storm that leads to states having to make some very difficult decisions,” said Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, who saw this pattern play out during the Great Recession of 2008 and the 2001 recession. (Van Dyke, 3/27)
Nursing Home Residents Have A Little More Time To Spend Stimulus Checks Before Losing Medicaid
Nursing home residents on Medicaid have some more time to spend their stimulus checks, but they shouldn't wait too long. Typically, Medicaid enrollees are only allowed to have a limited amount of assets, outside of their primary residence, car and other essentials. For single people, it's usually around $2,000. Those who exceed that threshold could find themselves kicked out of the health insurance program for low-income Americans. (Luhby, 3/30)
Missouri Voters Passed Medicaid Expansion. Now State Republicans May Not Pay For It.
Missouri House Republicans blocked funding for Medicaid expansion multiple times Tuesday — even though Missouri voters passed the measure in a statewide referendum in August. Advocates for health care expansion called the move the latest example of political theatrics in the state, while Democratic lawmakers deemed it a threat to the state Medicaid program. The groups agreed that the move was deeply frustrating and noted that it imperiled billions of dollars of federal aid. (McCausland, 3/30)
Arkansas Lawmakers Approve Overhaul Of Medicaid Expansion
Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday gave final approval to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to overhaul the state's Medicaid expansion by encouraging work by recipients rather than requiring it. The House voted 64-34 for the legislation, sending it to the Republican governor's desk. Under the measure, the program will continue to use Medicaid funds to place recipients on private health insurance. But under the proposal, those who don’t work or attend school could be moved to the traditional fee-for-service Medicaid program. More than 300,000 people are currently on the state’s Medicaid expansion. (3/30)
S Carolina Democrats Want Medicaid Expansion; GOP Says No
Democratic state senators said a sweeter offer from Congress ought to be enough to get South Carolina to join 38 other states and expand Medicaid to about 200,000 more people. But Republicans in South Carolina said the extra money for two years still isn't enough for them to feel confident about expanding the government-run health insurance program to more people. Senate Democrats held a news conference Tuesday to tout the offer made in the nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed earlier this month. (Collins, 3/30)
Mississippi: No Extension Of Postpartum Medicaid Coverage
An effort to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage has failed in Mississippi, a state with high rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality. The state’s program usually has two months of coverage for women after giving birth. Physicians recommended extending coverage to a full year to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies. Senators approved the extension earlier this year, but the provision was not included in the final version of a Medicaid bill that the House and Senate both passed Tuesday night. (Wagster Pettus and Willingham, 3/31)