Medicaid cuts loom despite overdue reimbursements

Hospitals across the country are preparing for looming cuts to Medicaid reimbursements, all while waiting for millions of dollars in owed payments.

In Maine, a deal passed unanimously yesterday will reduce MaineCare--the state's version of Medicaid--payments to hospitals by $10.1 million during the next two years, reported the Bangor Daily News. The hospitals could even face a second round of reimbursements cuts at an additional $3.1 million.

Thanks to the cuts, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems will lose $11.8 million. Meanwhile, the system still hasn't been paid $85 million for services provided to MaineCare patients, the article noted.

Similarly, Illinois hospitals are worried about potential $2 billion reimbursement reductions, especially as the Medicaid program already owes them nearly $2 billion in payments, noted KWQC.

"We haven't received a hospital medicaid payment since the beginning of July," Trinity Hospitals President and CEO Richard A. Seidler told KWQC.

Hospitals in Florida are bracing for hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding cuts, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal. The House proposed a 7 percent cut, or about $291 million in lost Medicaid reimbursements, while the Senate plans to eliminate $218.7 million used to subsidize Medicaid HMO payments to hospitals.

Such cuts would devastate hospitals' ability to provide care to low-income, uninsured and vulnerable populations, Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida President Tony Carvalho told the Business Journal.

To learn more:
- read the Bangor Daily News article
- check out the Jacksonville Business Journal article
- read the KWQC article