Hospital groups seek moratorium on Medicaid regs

The ink isn't even dry on the federal economic stimulus package, but hospital groups are already campaigning to change it. The groups--including the American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals and Catholic Health Association--want to be sure Congress extends an existing hold that has been put on a group of Medicaid rules.

The groups say the rules--which touch on cost limits for public providers, graduate medical education, provider taxes and hospital outpatient services--would have major consequences for Medicaid beneficiaries.

At present, however, only the House version of the bill includes the provisions that would put the rules on moratorium until June 30. It's not clear whether the final version of the bill, as agreed upon by both houses, will have these provisions in place. However, the groups don't want to leave anything to chance.

Anything that weakens Medicaid is going to have huge consequences at this point, though it could be that the Obama Administration has plans up its sleeve to neutralize these effects. It's hardly surprising that the hospital groups want to nip it in the bud. That being said, they may want to invest their political capital in girding for health reform.

To find out more about the state of this effort:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

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