State Awaits CMS OK for Hospital Fee Designed To Bring in Medi-Cal Funds
Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed a bill (AB 1653), by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), Â that will create a framework for a hospital fee that could draw down an estimated $2.6 billion in federal matching funds for Medi-Cal, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Background on Bill
In 2009, Schwarzenegger and the Legislature approved legislation (AB 1383 and AB 188) to create the hospital fee. The state plans to use the collected funds to increase Medi-Cal funding for hospitals and support children's health insurance programs.
The fee would apply retroactively to April 1, 2009 and would remain in place through Dec. 31.
Jan Emerson, spokesperson for the California Hospital Association, said CMS reviewed California's initial proposal and suggested changes that have been incorporated into AB 1653.
The legislation now must receive approval from CMS. Once CMS signs off on the measure, hospitals will start paying the fee. The matching funds should begin coming in two weeks later, Emerson said (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 9/10).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.