North Carolina distributing $2.6B to hospitals

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is distributing $2.6 billion to 102 hospitals as the state is set to begin its Medicaid expansion program Dec. 1. 

The funds are coming through the federal Healthcare Access and Stabilization Program, which the state joined as part of the Medicaid expansion legislation passed earlier this year. The department said in a Nov. 27 news release that the funds are critical "as they will not only help provide much needed support to our state's healthcare safety net, they also enable hospitals to pay for the non-federal share costs of expansion."

Medicaid expansion and HASP will be financed through new assessments on North Carolina hospitals and will allow the state to draw down more than $8 billion each year from the federal government based on expected ultimate expansion enrollment, according to the release. 

The HASP payments are calculated based on in-network Medicaid managed care payments to acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, hospitals owned or controlled by the University of North Carolina Health Care System, and ECU Health Medical Center, the release said. 

An estimated 600,000 people will be eligible for full Medicaid coverage, according to the release. Nearly 300,000 people who currently have limited Medicaid family planning benefits will be automatically enrolled on the first day of expansion.   

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