MHA Proposes Sensible Medicaid Overhau

BOSTON — At a recent hearing before the Joint Committee on Health Care, a hospital panel that included Holyoke Hospital President Hank Porten outlined how the Mass. Hospital Association’s proposed legislation — ‘An Act to Reform Medicaid’ — would stabilize and strengthen the state’s MassHealth program.
The bill (HB 3760), sponsored by Rep. Frank Hynes, and SB 644, sponsored by Sen. Richartd Moore, seeks to address long-standing payment inequities and simplify burdensome regulations. Cur-rently, Medicaid payhs hospitals, on average, 71 cents on the dollar. Under the guidelines of the proposed legislation, MassHealth would be required to develop a payment system that follows the federal Medicare program.

Payments would be updated annually to reflect the Medicare inflation index, and a hospital’s administrative burden and costs would fall since the new Medicaid payment system would mirror the one already employed by Medicare.

The bill also strives to open up the state’s reimbursement process, offering providers an opportunity to review and discuss rates prior to the state promulgating them.
Porten was joined by Linda Bodenmann, CFO of Southcoast Health System, and MHA President Ronald Hollander in testifying.

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