KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicaid Woes Lead To A Creative Solution In Utah, Cuts In Kansas

The Salt Lake Tribune: "After years of fighting the hated 'sick tax,' Utah hospitals are working with legislative leaders to craft a new levy aimed at helping pay for treating Utah's poor." Hospitals and the state legislature have found a way to raise around $50 million in new federal Medicaid funding by taxing hospitals about $23 million more. But, hospitals hope they'll be able to pay the taxes after collecting the new Medicaid money, which they see as a reimbursement boost, and will end up with a net gain (Gehrke, 12/16).

The (Pittsburg, Kan.) Morning Sun: "2010 isn't likely to be a happy new year for many Kansas medical professionals." As part of a round of budget cuts last month, "Medicaid reimbursements will be cut 10 percent on services rendered after Jan. 1." Hospitals warned that the cuts could mean less access to health care for low-income people (Dalton, 12/17).

Lawrence (Kan.) Journal World: "Simon Scholtz, chief financial officer [for Lawrence Memorial Hospital, in Kansas,] expects the cuts to cost the hospital at least $850,000 annually, based on 2008 claims" (Britt, 12/16).
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