New Hampshire Budget Includes $250M in Cuts to Hospitals

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New Hampshire legislators have passed a two-year budget, which includes more than $250 million in Medicaid reimbursement cuts to hospitals as well as a repurposing of funds generated through the state's hospital provider tax, according to a Portsmouth Herald report.

Hospitals in the state have paid a hospital provider tax, referred to as the Medicaid Enhancement Tax, since 1991 to draw additional funding to the Medicaid program. In the past, all funds generated from the tax went directly to the Medicaid program. However, the new budget allows the state to use $75.9 million of MET revenue to supplement state funds in 2012 and $81.9 million in 2013, according to the report.

The New Hampshire Hospital Association opposes the move, saying hospitals will now pay more out in the tax than they will receive back through uncompensated care and Medicaid payments.

Steve Ahnen, president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association, said the group estimates hospitals in the state will lose $126.9 million this year and $131.7 million next year as a result of the cuts.

Mark Whitney, vice president of strategic planning for Exeter (N.H.) Hospital, estimates the changes will bring his hospital's operating margin down from 3.7 percent to zero, according to the report.

Read the Portsmouth Herald report on the New Hampshire Medicaid Enhancement Tax.

Related Articles on the New Hampshire Medicaid:
New Hampshire Hospital Association Criticizes State Budget Cuts

New Repayment Plan for New Hampshire Hospitals Up For Federal Approval

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