Noteworthy News

States Curtailing Medicaid Benefits

Faced with continuing budget challenges, more states are looking to roll back some of their Medicaid benefits.

A number of states – Massachusetts, Florida, and others – already limit Medicaid beneficiaries’ inpatient coverage.  Now, more states – California, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, North Carolina, and others – are cutting back other benefits as well.

This could pose a real challenge for urban safety-net hospitals, according to NAUH executive director Ellen Kugler.

“Medicaid patients are still going to need these services, and mission-driven urban safety-net hospitals are not in the business of turning away patients in need,” Kugler said.   “When patients turn to these hospitals for care, we’re going to provide the care.”

“The challenge,” Kugler continued, “is that most states already underpay hospitals for the Medicaid services they provide, and starting in a few years, hospitals are going to suffer huge losses in their Medicare DSH and Medicaid DSH revenue.  Policy changes that reduce Medicaid benefits, on top of major reductions in Medicare and Medicaid DSH payments, will jeopardize the financial health of the same private urban safety-net hospitals that a lot of people are counting on to shoulder a major part of the reponsibility for implementing health care reform under the Affordable Care Act.”

Read about the latest state proposals in this report iStock_000005787159XSmallfrom Kaiser Health News.

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