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Conn. hospitals ask for relief from tax


The Connecticut State Capitol building, in Hartford.

Connecticut hospitals have filed a petition with  the CMS in which they assert that the state is violating the federal Medicaid Act through enforcing a hospital tax and providing inadequate Medicaid reimbursement.

State legislators imposed the hospital tax in 2011 with the goal of increasing federal funding. When states tax hospitals and  then redistribute the funds back to the sector, the Feds  provide matching funds through the Medicaid program. However, since the tax was put into place, the state has reduced the money it redistributes after collecting the tax.

The hospitals say that the  $556 million annual tax puts hospitals in financial peril. The Connecticut Hospital Association asserts that inadequate Medicaid funding and the hospital tax have forced hospitals  to lay off 1,390 employees since 2013. “Hospitals are actively evaluating the elimination of programs and, in many cases, are also assessing their ability to meet bond covenants,” said the CHA.

The hospitals ask the CMS to make the state  amend its Medicaid plan to bring Connecticut’s Medicaid rates and the hospital tax in compliance with the federal Medicaid Act.

The Connecticut Hospital Association and 20 hospitals have also appealed a recent state  decision rejecting their argument that the tax is applied illegally.

To read more, please hit this link.

Conn. hospitals outraged by state payment delay


Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration has delayed about $140 million in payments to the state’s acute-care hospitals,   reports The Hartford Courant.

The move came in response to recent projections showing declining state income-tax receipts. Anticipated income-tax revenues have been lowered by nearly $200 million for this fiscal year, according to Connecticut’s Office of Fiscal Analysis.

“Please be advised that I have asked the Department of Social Services to hold on making any additional supplemental payments … until we have identified the steps needed to address this fiscal year’s budget deficit,” Connecticut Office of Policy and Management Secretary Benjamin Barnes, told  hospitals. “While I hope to have this task completed later this month, due to the significant drop in revenues, I am not optimistic that we will be able to move forward with any further state payments this fiscal year.”

“His actions are breaking the healthcare system and increasing costs for patients,” said Jennifer Jackson, chief executive of the Connecticut Hospital Association.




Conn. hospitals denounce Medicaid cuts



Governor Malloy.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy will make more than $63 million in new cuts to hospital Medicaid payments, says  a WSHU report.

His budget office said the cuts are necessary for the state to maintain a balanced budget.

Not surprisingly, Connecticut Hospital Association CEO Jennifer Jackson said reducing hospitals’ Medicaid payments will hurt patients and providers.

“With nearly one in five Connecticut residents on Medicaid, withdrawing even more funding from the state’s obligation is outrageous. It puts a tremendous additional strain on healthcare providers who already provide services with reimbursement that is nowhere near the actual cost of delivering that care.”

The cuts will certainly hurt, but we at Cambridge Management Group note that there’s vast opportunity to save money in Medicaid by reducing the number of avoidable hospital re-admissions and far better integrating behavioral healthcare and other healthcare.

This is particularly important in Connecticut’s struggling cities, with their large low-income populations.

The long failure to adequately address the impact of behavioral, emotional and mental illness on the cost of treating “physical illness” accounts for much of Medicaid’s spiraling expenses. And connected with this is American healthcare long giving short shrift to the social determinants of health.

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