CA's proposed 'provider tax' seems to be failing

For a while, it looked like the idea would work. A controversial proposal, kicked off by none other than the California Hospital Association, would have imposed a "provider fee" on most of its 450 member facilities, adjusted for patient bed days.

Though it sounds strange on the surface for a trade association to advocate for a member fee, this one would generate more money for the hospitals in the form of as much as $1.8 billion in higher Medicaid payments. They money would help the facilities get back $3.8 billion lost on unpaid Medicaid costs during last year alone.

The thing is, people involved don't seem to be able to agree on how to implement the idea. As things stand, some hospitals would contribute more than they get, while others would take in much more than they pay. It's a problem that has come up nationally, as hospitals struggle to find ways to cover Medicaid shortfalls.

The bottom line here is that California's providers don't seem to have found a solution everyone can live with, nor have other states. Sounds like it's time for a new tactic.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Health Leaders Media piece