California Hospitals Start Paying Fee Designed To Bring in Medi-Cal Funds
Hospitals throughout California have started paying billions of dollars in fees as part of a new state program designed to draw down more federal funding for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, the Los Angeles Daily News reports (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 10/9).
In 2009, California passed legislation (AB 1383 and AB 188) to create the hospital fee. The state intends to use the collected funds to support children's health insurance programs and increase Medi-Cal funding for hospitals (California Healthline, 9/13).
Last month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed AB 1653, by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), which created the framework for the hospital fee.
The new legislation calls for hospitals to pay about $3.1 billion in fees, which will be used to draw down equivalent federal matching funds plus an additional $2.6 billion. The program aims to help California hospitals regain some of the $4.6 billion they lost last year because of lower Medi-Cal reimbursement rates.
Hospitals had until Friday to pay the first of four installments for the fee.
The first reimbursements from the program are expected to beginÂ at the end of this month (Los Angeles Daily News, 10/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.