Ohio Medicaid: What The Center Is Doing
The Medicaid program provides health insurance to some of society’s most vulnerable members and remains an important part of the healthcare safety net. As Medicaid continues to absorb greater shares of state and federal budgets, conversations about how to finance the program – including the potential for cuts in coverage or reimbursement – persist in policy circles. Given Ohio Medicaid’s impact on the health of the population and hospitals’ bottom lines, The Center for Health Affairs works diligently to stay abreast of the latest developments in Ohio Medicaid reimbursement and coverage policy. As the leading advocate for Northeast Ohio hospitals, The Center helps to coordinate efforts to ensure appropriate reimbursement.
The Center’s Advocacy Forum meets on a regular basis to discuss current and relevant topics that are impacting member hospitals.
Coalition Supports Medicaid Expansion
The Center for Health Affairs has joined the Northeast Ohio Medicaid Expansion Coalition to advocate for the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio and applauds the Ohio Controlling Board's decision to take advantage of federal money to expand the Medicaid program in Ohio. Given that Cleveland is Ohio’s largest population center and one of America’s poorest cities, expanding healthcare coverage to some of our area’s most vulnerable residents is a top concern of this diverse group of coalition members.
The Center works to keep members up-to-date on the latest reimbursement issues, including those involving the Ohio Medicaid program. Designed for top finance staff at member hospitals, The Center’s reimbursement forums allow members to discuss best practices and seek regional solutions to the issues our membership face.
In coordination with member hospitals, in 2008 The Center worked with insurance companies, the Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio Association of Health Plans to resolve issues and keep members informed regarding the changing landscape of Ohio Medicaid managed care providers. Some of the issues addressed in 2008 were investigating prompt payment issues and helping members deal with coverage issues caused by changes in the number of participating managed care plans.
The Center’s President & CEO Bill Ryan was one of several healthcare experts interviewed by WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier on April 13, 2011 about how Governor John Kasich’s proposed budget, particularly cuts to the Medicaid program, will affect healthcare providers. Click here to listen to the program.
In this July 19, 2011 letter sent to members of the Northeast Ohio Congressional delegation, The Center discusses the debate on raising the national debt ceiling. In particular, The Center is concerned about proposals that have suggested arbitrary cuts to Medicare and Medicaid because Northeast Ohio hospitals cannot afford additional cuts to these programs. Further cuts to Medicaid and Medicare will cause hospitals to experience more difficulty accessing capital, limiting their ability to invest in education, facility maintenance or upgrades and technology. Patients will experience reduced access to necessary services and long wait times if these programs are cut.
The Center for Health Affairs has been lending its voice to those asking for the removal from the budget of the Medicaid non-contracting language, which allows Medicaid managed care plans to pay non-contracting hospitals a state-set ceiling that is typically well below hospital costs. The Center’s President & CEO Bill Ryan offered testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on May 18, 2011 opposing the language and, prior to the budget passing the House, sent a letter on May 2, 2011 to the House Finance and Appropriations Committee carrying a similar message.
This June 17, 2010 letter encourages Senator Voinovich to support an extension of the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP). The enhanced FMAP enabled Ohio to continue to provide Medicaid to its most vulnerable citizens without the need to cut benefits or increase eligibility.