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Congress Gives Hospitals Medicaid DSH Relief

Medicaid DSH allocations to states will not be reduced right away thanks to a new continuing resolution to fund the federal government through December 11. The Medicare disproportionate share allocation cuts to the states, mandated by the Affordable Care Act but delayed by Congress several times, were delayed again earlier this year but scheduled to take effect on November 11.  With the latest continuing resolution, the cuts will be delayed yet another month. SNAP worked hard to encourage Congress to include the Medicaid DSH delay in the continuing resolution, doing so most recently in this September 14 letter to members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation.  Medicaid DSH payments are an important tool in helping Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals serve their predominantly low-income … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments

MFAR is Dead

At least for now. The controversial Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation, slated for implementation this fall over the objections of many health care stakeholders, will not move forward at this time. In a tweet earlier this week, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma wrote that We’ve listened closely to concerns that have been raised by our state and provider partners about potential unintended consequences of the proposed rule, which require further study.  Therefore, CMS is withdrawing the rule from the regulatory agenda. If implemented, opponents maintained, the regulation would have: Deprived states of important, established policy-making prerogatives. Created major new administrative burdens for state governments and hospitals. Inappropriately regulated financing of the state share of Medicaid spending. Introduced … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

CMS Provides Guidance on Medicaid DSH Calculations

State Medicaid program accounting for hospital uncompensated care when calculating hospital-specific Medicaid disproportionate share limits is the subject of new guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In the guidance, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services explains that because of several court rulings, states can decide for themselves whether to offset third-party payer payments from costs in their Medicaid DSH calculations for periods prior to June 2, 2017 but that beginning with that date,  CMS will enforce its own interpretation of the policy. In new guidance, CMS presents two methodologies for accounting for its mid-year policy change and reminds stakeholders about its new methodology for calculations after June 2, 2017. Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services and its … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy

SNAP Asks PA Senators for COVID-19 Help

Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals need help with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 public health emergency, SNAP wrote yesterday in a letter to Pennsylvania senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey. In its letter, SNAP asked the senators to advocate: An additional $100 billion for hospitals. Forgiveness for money provided to hospitals through the federal CARES Act’s Accelerated and Advance Payment Program. An increase in the federal Medicaid matching rate (FMAP). An increase in states’ Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments and a delay in the scheduled implementation of Medicaid DSH allotment cuts to the states. Action to prevent implementation of the Medicaid fiscal accountability regulation. A moratorium on changes in hospital eligibility for the 340B prescription drug discount program, Medicare indirect … Read More

Posted in 340b, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

COVID-19 Update: March 31, 2020

Coronavirus Update: March 31, 2020. COVID-19-related developments in Pennsylvania as of 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31.  To receive this daily update directly, sign up for our mailing list at info@pasafetynet.org. State Update Governor Wolf                                                                                                      Today, Governor Wolf announced that the President approved part of his request for a major disaster declaration to support state, county, and local responses to COVID-19.  Included in the approved requests are reimbursement of up to 75 percent of eligible expenses (staff overtime, supplies, equipment) related to COVID-19 response for all levels of state government and private non-profits that qualify and direct federal assistance for materials and supplies to state and local governments.  Staff from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will be contacting potential applicants in … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicare

COVID-19 Update: March 24, 2020

The following is a summary of the major COVID-19-related developments in Pennsylvania as of 4:45 today. For your convenience, copies of our daily updates are also posted to the SNAP Blog available here. State Updates The State Legislature The legislature continues to deliberate on a number of measures to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.  Among the issues being discussed between the administration and legislature are: Declaring a public health emergency and providing funding to respond to the crisis. Advancing telemedicine legislation. Amending the rules of unemployment compensation during an emergency declaration such as easing work search requirements and extending the length of time that benefits are available. Providing assistance to small businesses and non-profits through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority. … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania Medicaid coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: March 23, 2020

The following is a summary of the major COVID-19-related developments in Pennsylvania as of March 23, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. Pennsylvania Legislature The governor and General Assembly agreed to postpone the Pennsylvania primary from April 28 until June 2.  We anticipate this agreement to be formalized within the coming week.  The House met to consider this issue today in non-voting session and are scheduled for voting session tomorrow.  The Senate remains at a twelve-hour call of the President Pro Tempore. Pennsylvania Administration Department of Health Daily Update Governor Wolf announced stay at home orders for residents in Philadelphia, Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Monroe counties, urging residents in those areas to shelter in place and only leave home for … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues

COVID-19 Update: March 20, 2020

The following is a summary of the major COVID-19-related developments in Pennsylvania today as of 5:30 p.m. on March 20, 2020. Pennsylvania Administration Since yesterday, the Department of Human Services has issued the following four new guidance documents: Billing Guidance for Alternative Screening Sites Related to COVID-19 Virtual Drop Ins Mental Health Revised Due Dates for Case Mix Index (CMI) Reporting, Cost Report Submissions, and Nursing Facility Assessment Payment Plan Requests Interim Guidance on Visitation in Nursing Facilities During COVID-19 We notified you last night that the governor issued an order to close all “non-life-sustaining businesses.” Below please find two resources for additional information. Any business that would like to seek a waiver to the mandate to close can send … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania Department of Health and COVID-19, Pennsylvania Department of Health coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid COVID-19, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy, Uncategorized

COVID-19 Update: March 19, 2020

The following is a summary of the major COVID-19-related developments in Pennsylvania for March 19, 2020 as of 6:30 p.m. Pennsylvania Administration Governor’s Order Closing State Businesses Early in the evening, Governor Tom Wolf announced that he was ordering the immediate closing of what he called “non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania.”  See his news release on the order here, the order itself here, and a list of types of businesses and whether they are or are not “life-sustaining” here. Pennsylvania Department of State Licensure Exceptions and Fast Track The Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, in conjunction with Governor Wolf, issued a press release announcing that the governor had granted the department’s request for a suspension to … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania Department of Health and COVID-19, Pennsylvania Department of Health coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid coronavirus, Pennsylvania Medicaid COVID-19

CMS Posts COVID-19 FAQ for State Medicaid and CHIP Agencies

State Medicaid agencies and CHIP programs have received new guidance on the federal resources available to them to fight the COVID-19 national health emergency through a new FAQ published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week. Among the issues addressed in the FAQ are eligibility, enrollment, benefits, cost sharing, workforce issues, telehealth, and more.  Health care providers may find this information useful when serving their patients. See CMS’s news release describing the FAQ here and the FAQ itself here.

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues
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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania