Hospitals' bid for extra Medicaid payments 'problematic' in Virginia budget
A long-pending plan to bring more federal Medicaid dollars to more than two dozen private Virginia hospitals has run into opposition from Gov. Terry McAuliffe and General Assembly budget leaders who now fear the plan could cost the state big money in the long run.
The proposal, first made to federal Medicaid officials in 2011 and approved a year ago, would allow private hospital systems to contract to provide services now performed by state human resources agencies to free up state money to match federal dollars on a 50-50 basis. Hospitals would pay for services the state provides so the state money would be freed to bring more federal funds to pay for uncompensated medical care.
The 25 hospitals that would receive “supplemental payments” through Virginia’s Medicaid program include four operated by HCA Hospitals (counting Chippenham and Johnston-Willis hospitals as one) in the Richmond and Tri-Cities areas, and three owned by Community Health Systems in Petersburg, Emporia and Franklin.
But McAuliffe has proposed to strip language included in the pending state budget that would allow the plan to proceed — and the leaders of the General Assembly money committees are beginning to have second thoughts of their own.