State owes $35M in Medicaid errors

Although hospitals in New Hampshire cut their state tax fee by $50 million last month, the state will be paying $35.8 million back to the federal government starting next year.

According to the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), New Hampshire received improper Medicaid funds in 2004, reports the New Hampshire Union Leader. The state denies wrongdoing, but it has agreed to repay the millions in eight quarterly installments, ending the first quarter of fiscal year 2014.

Under the agreement, New Hampshire gives up its right to challenge the CMS actions before the U.S. District Court or any court or tribunal.

However, House Speaker William O'Brien (R-N.H.) said the agreement will lead to a $27 million gap for the state's current two-year budget, the Union Leader notes.

Such a budget shortfall could exasperate the already strained hospitals throughout the state, which were forced to lay off workers following Medicaid reimbursements cuts. Moreover, nine New Hampshire hospitals this summer sued the state to block the two-year budget that calls for slashing Medicaid payments by $115 million, arguing that it would prevent equal access to medical care for low-income patients.

For more:
- read the Union Leader article
- here's the agreement (.pdf)