Budget plan presses NH hospitals to join managed care networks
Hospitals have balked at the compensation offered by the three companies the state hired to run the Medicaid managed care program.
On Friday, the committee reviewed a proposed amendment that would require the hospitals to join the managed care program or lose a projected $61 million in state and federal funds for reimbursing the hospitals for uncompensated care in the next fiscal year.
The state’s smaller critical access hospitals receive the bulk of the state and federal money for uncompensated care, while the state’s largest hospitals no longer get any state or federal help after budget writers slashed the program two years ago.
The hospitals sued the state over reimbursement rates in federal court and that case is pending.
The committee has worked to find ways to increase uncompensated care payments to hospitals to entice them to join the managed care networks so the program can begin, including using a $20 million reduction in personnel compensation and benefits costs as well as other reductions in the Health and Human Services Department.
The Senate Finance Committee has worked for the last month on its budget proposal and hopes to finalize the plan early next week.
The Senate budget spends a total of $10.7 billion compared to the House’s $11 billion spending plan. Much of the difference is in assumptions on how much money the Medicaid Enhancement Tax will generate.
The House and Hassan included $13 million in savings by delaying business tax credits passed last year but not due to go into effect until the coming biennium that the Senate rejected as well.
“Reality is showing up in the Senate budget,” Morse said. “The public has been promised everything, but there is no new revenue and we can’t do too much about it.”
The Senate is expected to vote on its version of the budget June 6 and then House and Senate negotiators will try to reach a compromise before July 1 when the new fiscal year begins.
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