Colorado hospitals consider transfer of Medicaid revenues

Colorado hospitals are considering giving up some of their recently found Medicaid largesse in order to help fund new enrollees in the program, reports the Denver Post.

Under the plan being discussed, the state's hospitals would give up about $50 million in newly-leveraged Medicaid matching dollars for inpatient care to help expand the Medicaid rolls, which is under stress from newly impoverished applicants.

Colorado's hospitals imposed a tax on themselves last year of $183 per patient day in order to leverage additional Medicaid matching funds for inpatient care. The fee is expected to raise about $474 million in the current fiscal year.

The hospitals are "making a charitable contribution to the state because they recognize the dire straits the state is in," said Sue Birch, who was recently appointed to head Colorado's Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

Colorado's Medicaid rolls have expanded by nearly 50 percent in the past five years, to 600,000 from 400,000, notes Steven Summer, president of the Colorado Hospital Association.

The proposal would require approval by the state Legislature. It is unclear whether the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would also have to approve the plan.

For more:
- read the Denver Post article