Georgia Hospitals Awaiting Provider Fee Approval

CMS still hasn't approved a provider fee for Georgia hospitals, a financing formula that helps cover the costs of the state's Medicaid program, according to a Georgia Health News report.

The provider fee — also called a "bed tax" by detractors — collects money from hospitals and pays them back through reimbursements, depending on how many Medicaid beneficiaries they treat. The amount hospitals get back hinges on their amount of Medicaid business, so some providers lose money while others gain funds through the formula, according to the report.

The previous provider fee expired on June 30. State hospitals expected federal officials to approve the renewal of the old formula in late June, but CMS still hasn't given the state the go-ahead, according to the report.

The Georgia Department of Community Health reports CMS hasn't raised any red flags regarding the provider fee proposal, and the Georgia Hospital Association has expressed confidence the approval will come soon, according to the report. Still, some hospital leaders are concerned.

Jimmy Lewis, CEO of the rural hospital organization HomeTown Health, told Georgia Health News his group is "very worried" about the delayed approval.

Although HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has expressed disapproval toward states including Georgia opting not to expand Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, there's no reason to think the delay is related to state and federal officials' Medicaid disagreement, Tim Connell, CFO for the Department of Community Health, told Georgia Health News.

More Articles on Hospital Payments:
Arkansas Hospitals Express Concern Over Medicaid Change
Rhode Island Hospitals Get $5.8M to Fix Pay Disparity
Spectrum Health CFO Michael Freed: On a Journey to Price Transparency 

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