At this moment, AB1383 by Assemblymember Dave Jones–which would create a hospital provider fee, part of which would be used for increased Medicaid reimbursements and for children’s coverage–hangs in the balance. Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger sent a letter saying he will veto the measure because the model used for the development of the hospital provider fee is fatally flawed.
The California Hospital Association proposal for the hospital provider fee appears to violate the requirements of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for provider fees. These requirements are complicated but not particularly mysterious: more than 30 states, including California, have provider fees for nursing homes and more than 20 states have provider fees for hospitals. It is unfortunate that it is just now in the closing hours of the legislative session the problems with the CHA provider fee proposal have been discovered—and that it puts at risk $320 million in possible funding for protecting and expanding children’s coverage, especially in these tough budget times.
Efforts are underway to find amendments that resolve these difficulties but at this moment it is not at all certain what the outcome will be.
Health Access has been supportive of AB1383—because California needs more children’s coverage, not less and because Medi-Cal reimbursement for hospitals is 51st in the country so it needs to be improved as well.