Hospitals Might Seek Ballot Initiative To Lock In Medicaid Payments
California hospitals might seek a ballot initiative to cement a recent law that aims to draw down additional federal Medicaid funds by collecting fees from hospitals, Payers & Providers reports (Payers & Providers, 10/15).
AB 1383 by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) will impose about $2 billion per year in fees on California's acute care hospitals.
The state will use the funds to leverage $2.3 billion annually in federal matching Medicaid funds.Â The federal economic stimulus package will provide matching Medicaid funds at a higher rate through 2010.
Hospitals will recoup $2 billion of the matching federal funds in the form of higher reimbursements for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program. About $320 million of the funds will go toward children's health care coverage (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 10/14).
The law is expected to generate revenue through the end of 2010 and will expire at the end of 2012.
Possible Ballot Initiative
Some observers have expressed concern that the Legislature could pass a new version of AB 1383 that reapportions the hospital fee revenue for other purposes.
Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California, said the hospital industry is considering introducing a 2010 ballot initiative that would require hospital fees enacted after 2010 to go exclusively toward supplemental Medi-Cal payments.C. Duane Dauner, president of the California Hospital Association, affirmed that CHA is looking into sponsoring a ballot proposition sometime next year (Payers & Providers, 10/15). 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.