The Bush administration identified 15 states that it said wrongly used accounting gimmicks to increase their federal Medicaid matching funds. For example, states might overpay municipal and county providers, increasing state Medicaid spending and thus the federal match, and then receive the excess payments back without returning any portion of the match. Eliminating so-called "recycling" of Medicaid funds tops the administration's list of ways to reduce federal Medicaid spending. In the past few years HHS has restricted use of the financing method, which many states contend is fair based on long-standing practice. Indeed, states and provider groups say that in some cases the federal government specifically approved use of the financing mechanism. "It appears very much that the feds are changing gears midstream," said Sherreta Lane, vice president of reimbursements and economic analysis at the California Hospital Association. California is one of the 15 states named. The others are Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington. -- by Tony Fong
In Medicaid match fight with states, U.S. names names
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