Hospitals face potential $5B Medicaid shortfall in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's hospitals are facing a potential shortfall in Medicaid payments that could total more than $5 billion by 2015, according to the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania .

A report released by the association last week estimated that reductions in Medicaid payments as part of the budget for the upcoming fiscal year and increases in uncompensated care will quickly widen the shortfall facing Keystone State hospitals.

"In fiscal year 2011, Medicaid paid Pennsylvania's hospitals $542 million less than the cost of care for Medicaid patients," HAP President Carolyn Scanlan said in a statement. "For fiscal years 2013 through 2015, the shortfall exceeds $1 billion annually and peaks at $1.454 billion in 2015."

Scanlan noted that the state's hospitals are facing cuts in special payments for trauma and neonatal care and to critical access hospitals, on top of a 4 percent reduction last year in general Medicaid payments. Moreover, hospitals project more cuts in revenue as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Scanlan urged lawmakers to address the shortfall.

In Alabama, another state where hospitals have been hit hard by Medicaid cuts, the legislature is mulling a bill that would provide general fund monies to its Medicaid program to better allow it to draw federal matching funds, reported The Birmingham News.

To learn more:
- here's Pennsylvania Hospital & HealthSystem statement
- download the projection chart (.pdf)
- read the Birmingham News article