MS: Hospital Assn. Considers Suit

Without a solution to fund a $90 million dollar shortfall in Medicaid, Governor Haley Barbour is expected to make cuts that will cripple the state run health program.

Those proposed cuts will go into affect August 6.

Hospitals will see the deepest cut at over 33 % of their Medicaid reimbursement taken away. Nursing homes reimbursements will be cut by just over six percent. Doctors, pharmacists, and dentists who treat Medicaid patients will have 10% cut.

Other areas affected include, home health, physical therapy, ambulance service , and medical equipment providers. The governor says lawmakers knew about the medicaid shortfall going into this year’s regular session.

“We’re knowing going in the fiscal year that we’re gonna have a $375 million dollar deficit because the House has failed to do it’s job. And because of that, I am forced to do something that is bad for health care in Mississippi, but it’s the law,” Governor Barbour said.

Many house members favor a cigarette tax to help fund Medicaid rather than taxing hospitals.

The Mississippi Hospital Association says these cuts will cause hospitals to close. And they are considering possible court action to block the cuts.

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