Raising Women’s Voices

Wisconsin’s New Medicaid Bill

Posted in Affordability, Health Reform Policy Proposals, State Reform by raisingwomensvoices on February 26, 2009

On February 19, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, a Democrat, signed a bill that places a new levy on hospital revenue. The bill allows the state to claim hundreds of millions more for Medicaid patients in reimbursement from the federal government. Notably, not one Republican in either chamber voted for the measure.

The bill calls for securing $900 million in new federal revenue over the next two years to support the Medicaid rate increase for hospitals through implementation of an assessement on hospital revenues. It will reduce state taxpayer support for Medicaid by upwards of $300 million through 2011, and provide targeted supplemental payments to rural hosptials, adult level 1 trauma centers and pay-for-performance initatives.

Under the new bill, the Department of Health and Human Services is required to spend the portion of the hospital assessment revenue allocated to pay for hospital services under the Medical Assistant Program on:

  • increased reimbursement for eligible hospitals that are reimbursed on a fee-for service basis
  • payments to health maintenance organization that the HMOs must use to increase reimbursement to eligible hospitals
  • an increase of $2.7 million in supplemental payments to certain rural hospitals
  • $8 million in supplemental payments to hospitals that satisfy criteria established by the American College of Surgeons for classification as a level 1 adult trauma center
  • supplemental payments to hospitals based on performance, under a methodology developed by DHS
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