Another blow to hospital finances ahead

States will be able to disenroll some Medicaid beneficiaries on April 1, which could mean higher bad debt for hospitals, according to a report from Moody's Investment Service Healthcare Quarterly report.

The federal government increased matching aid for states during the pandemic if they maintained continuous Medicaid enrollment for all beneficiaries, but that policy will end March 31 and the pandemic pay bump will be completely phased out by the end of the year.

Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program had 90.9 million beneficiaries as of last September, up nearly 28 percent over February 2020, according to Kaiser Family Foundation, which also found between 5.3 million and 14.2 million beneficiaries could lose coverage by the end of the year.

"As Medicaid enrollment falls, the uninsured population will likely increase, which will lead to more self-pay patients and higher bad debt for hospitals," the report states. States could receive additional Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage funding if they meet certain requirements.

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