Noteworthy News

GAO Looks at Supplemental Medicaid Payments

Following up its own 2012 report that identified more than 500 hospitals receiving supplemental Medicaid payments that resulted in Medicaid payment surpluses, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has taken a broader look at supplemental payments state Medicaid programs make to hospitals and how those payments are used.

gaoIn a limited study of hospitals in four states, GAO found that some hospitals used supplemental payments for purposes other than serving Medicaid patients and the uninsured – purposes such as ordinary operations, capital purchases, a poison control center, even a helicopter. GAO also found that hospitals were more likely to receive such payments if local funding was used to draw down federal Medicaid matching funds. In some places, hospitals with local governments willing to finance the payments were more likely to receive them than hospitals located in places without such local support.

The GAO recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services take stronger steps to ensure that supplemental Medicaid payments are linked to the provision of Medicaid services and that CMS not permit states to make those payments contingent on local financing.

Learn more about why the GAO looked at supplemental Medicaid payments, what it learned, and what it recommended in the report Federal Guidance Needed to Address Concerns About Distribution of Supplemental Payments.


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