California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill that extends a self-imposed hospital fee intended to draw down as much as $6.1 billion in Medicaid matching funds, reports the San Jose Mercury News.
The fee is retroactive to July 1, 2011 (the start of the government's fiscal year in California) and expires at the close of 2013. It is an extension of a fee that hospitals imposed on themselves beginning last year. Although many of California's hospitals are able to receive the additional Medicaid draws, some are exempt due to their relative affluence and low admissions rates of Medicaid patients.
"We are very pleased the governor signed this important piece of legislation," Jan Emerson-Shea, spokesperson for the California Hospital Association, told the Sacramento Business Journal. "It will help hospitals continue to provide important health care services to people on the Medi-Cal (California's Medicaid) program."
The California hospital fee is being studied by a number of states, and Arizona hospitals are seriously considering a similar program.
California's hospital fee still requires approval by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, although it signed off on the previous fee.
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