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July 01. 2013 7:54PM

Hassan: Hospitals on board with Medicaid managed care

CONCORD — All of the state's hospitals have agreed to join Medicaid managed care networks, Gov. Maggie Hassan said Monday.

"This is an important step forward toward better managing health care costs through the Medicaid program and improving services for citizens," Hassan said in a written statement.

She added: "Equally crucial to the long-term financial health of our hospitals, our health care system and our families is moving forward with Medicaid expansion, which will bring $2.5 billion into our health care system and reduce uncompensated care costs. I hope as the Medicaid Expansion Commission begins its work next week, we can move forward expeditiously to expand access to Medicaid to working families."

Early last month, New Hampshire Hospital Association President Steve Ahnen noted that moving to a managed care system is "the right thing to do," and said many of the state's smaller hospitals had agreed to join the managed care program.

The state has sought to move from a point-of-service model to a managed-care system for Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor, elderly, children and disabled, but has been blocked by hospitals and other providers who balked at accepting the rates offered by the three national managed care companies the state hired to run the program.

The state's largest hospitals sued the state two years ago, claiming the reimbursement rates under the Medicaid program were too low to sustain the health care system for the poor and were set illegally.

To entice the hospitals to join the managed care networks, Hassan, the House and the Senate put additional money into the uncompensated care program.

The Senate used general fund money for the state's share, but said hospitals would have to join the managed care networks by July 1 to receive the money.


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