Archive for Pennsylvania state budget issues
On Tuesday, February 9, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf presented his proposed FY 2017 budget to the state legislature. That budget proposal calls for changes in some current Medicaid spending, including reductions of some supplemental payments and the elimination of others, as well as changes in funding the state’s share of Medicaid and the rate at which the federal government will match Pennsylvania’s own spending on Medicaid in the coming year. In addition, the budget calls for new and increased spending in selected areas within the purview of the state’s Department of Human Services and Health Department. SNAP has prepared a detailed memo outlining the potential implications of the proposed FY 2017 budget for safety-net hospitals. The memo also addresses the complications … Read More
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published its March 2015 newsletter. Included in this edition are articles about the state’s changes in how it is expanding its Medicaid program; a look at Governor Wolf’s proposed FY 2016 Medicaid budget; and closer examinations of a proposed expansion of services for older adults and people with disabilities and the budget of the state’s Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Find the Pennsylvania Health Law Project’s latest newsletter here.
As Pennsylvania lawmakers contemplate the state’s FY 2015 budget, the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania has issued a new position paper reminding those officials of the challenges the state’s private safety-net hospitals face in the current environment and the need for adequate, stable funding as they tackle those challenges. Among those challenges are low-income patients with distinct needs, major cuts in federal Medicare payments that especially target safety-net hospitals, and powerful economic forces marshaled by government, insurers, and others that seek to compel hospitals to deliver care in different ways, be paid differently for their efforts, align their incentives differently with other providers, and invest heavily in information technology. Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals are prepared to do all these things, but to … Read More
Although only 25 percent of the state’s acute-care hospitals, Pennsylvania’s private safety-net hospitals account for 45 percent of the $1 billion in uncompensated care those hospitals provide to uninsured Pennsylvanians every year. And now, as the governor and legislature consider the state’s FY 2015 budget, the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania is urging those officials to preserve state payments that help qualified hospitals with those uncompensated care costs and enable them to continue constituting the core of Pennsylvania’s health care safety net. Tobacco Uncompensated Care Fund payments are supplemental state payments to hospitals that provide significant amounts of uncompensated care; they are underwritten by proceeds from the national master tobacco settlement of 1998 and matched by the federal government. As lawmakers … Read More
While providing most of the care to Pennsylvania’s Medicaid and uninsured populations, the state’s 41 private safety-net hospitals also employ more people than other hospitals and pay better wages than most employers. They also are among the biggest employers in their communities, drive local economic development, and generate millions in local and state tax revenue. As state lawmakers consider Pennsylvania’s FY 2015 budget, the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania urges them to preserve adequate funding for the state’s Medicaid program so these hospitals can continue their work serving Pennsylvanians in need and functioning as one of the state’s major economic engines. Read more about the outsized role private safety-net hospitals play in Pennsylvania’s health care safety net and its economy in … Read More
In a series of three new position papers, the Safety-Net Association has laid out the case for why Pennsylvania needs to fund its Medicaid program adequately in the state’s upcoming 2015 fiscal year. The first paper, “Pennsylvania Safety-Net Hospitals: Economic Engines Driving Pennsylvania Communities,” documents the degree to which safety-net hospitals not only provide significant numbers of jobs but also offer higher wages than other hospitals and other Pennsylvania employers. The second paper, “The Importance of Preserving Uncompensated Care Payments,” notes that Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals, just 25 percent of the state’s acute-care hospitals, provide nearly 50 percent of the $1 billion worth of uncompensated care hospitals in the state provide every year. The state helps underwrite some of those costs … Read More
Pennsylvania’s constitution calls for the state to adopt a budget for the next fiscal year by June 30, the end of its fiscal year, but it is looking more and more as if the legislature and governor will miss that deadline this year. Although budgets typically come easily when the same party controls the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the General Assembly, the state’s revenue shortfall, a structural deficit that will carry over into next year, and the introduction of additional issues into the budget process appear to be slowing progress toward adopting a spending plan for the state’s 2015 fiscal year. To reinforce the notion that June 30 may come and go without a budget adopted, state Senate … Read More
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has released its February Health Law News newsletter. The publication includes features on Governor Corbett’s recently proposed FY 2015 state budget; new state criteria for qualifying for PACE and PACENET, programs that help low-income seniors with the cost of prescription drugs; a clarification of state policy governing complaints and grievances about HealthChoices Medicaid managed care plans; and more. Find the February edition of Health Law News here.
Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth has sent the following message to health care providers and other stakeholders that will be affected by the state’s loss of $180 million in national tobacco settlement money as a result of a recent arbitrary decision. October 2, 2013 I am reaching out to you, our valued stakeholder, to provide you with information about the potential impact of the recent tobacco master settlement agreement (MSA) decision. Please understand this legal action and the potential next steps are in no way a reflection of the quality of your work or actions as a partner with the Department of Public Welfare (DPW). This decision stems back to circumstances that occurred in 2003. As you … Read More
Pennsylvania’s loss of $180 million from the national tobacco master settlement agreement could affect the state’s Tobacco Uncompensated Care program, which provides supplemental funding to hospitals that provide significant amounts of uncompensated care. The $180 million cut represents 60 percent of the state’s overall tobacco revenue. According to a news release from the governor’s budget office, The reduction will occur in the state’s April 2014 MSA [master settlement agreement] payment, which supports spending in the current year’s budget. This is forcing the state to freeze discretionary funding from the MSA, which will reduce funds for health research (Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement [CURE] grants), Life Sciences Greenhouses, uncompensated care to hospitals, and discretionary funds related to tobacco prevention and cessation programs. … Read More