Bill advances for fund to help hospitals meet Medicaid reimbursement shortfall

Bill advances for fund to help hospitals meet Medicaid reimbursement shortfall
February 16th, 2024 | Scott Miller

Nebraska lawmakers gave overwhelming approval Thursday to a measure intended to help critical-care access hospitals meet financial challenges posed by Medicaid reimbursements that haven’t kept up with costs.

Among other provisions in LB1087, the state’s hospitals would pay an assessment of up to six percent of their net income into a fund that would leverage federal matching funds to enhance rates paid to hospitals under the medical assistance program.

North Platte Sen. Mike Jacobson said a majority of Nebraska hospitals are losing money on operations, not the least of which are small, rural facilities. These financial dynamics have forced Nebraska hospitals to make difficult decisions. In the past 18 months, three rural hospitals have closed their labor and delivery units. Two hospitals have closed their hospital-owned nursing homes. Hospitals have also closed behavioral health, hospice, and home health services. All of these are needed community services that could no longer be sustained by our non nonprofit hospitals with current reimbursement rates,” said Jacobson

A portion of the money gathered would also help pay for expansion of clinical nursing training sites, as well as helping provide for continuous eligibility of children.

The amended version of the “Hospital Quality Assurance and Access Assessment Act” passed general file with support from 40 lawmakers.


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