Missouri Hospitals Consider Funding Options
The Missouri Hospital Association likely will have to make additional compromises as they request funds from the Legislature in upcoming negotiations to renew the state Medicaid program before 2008, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The hospital association was the major supporter of a state ballot initiative that would have amended the state constitution to increase the state tobacco tax by 80 cents per pack of cigarettes. Missouri voters last week defeated the measure, which would have provided about $289 million annually to hospitals.
Missouri hospitals in 2004 provided about $153.7 million in uncompensated care.
Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt (R) is expected to release a plan in January 2007 outlining proposed changes to the state Medicaid program. Proposals under consideration include:
- Restricting access to hospital emergency departments;
- Limiting services for some beneficiaries; and
- Requiring beneficiaries to make higher payments related to their Medicaid coverage (Feldstein, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11/12).