State lawmakers and hospital leaders in Oklahoma and Louisiana advanced legislation to improve Medicaid funding in their respective states. The Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill that will boost Medicaid spending $200 million. The Oklahoma Hospital Association had pushed for a hospital fee to generate a larger federal Medicaid match, but the bill that passed did not include a fee, OHA President Craig Jones said. Instead, the state will spend $63 million from natural gas revenue on Medicaid to draw a federal match of about $137 million. The net gain to hospitals will be the same either way, Jones said. Meanwhile, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and the state hospital association reached agreement Thursday on a hospital fee to help finance Medicaid, 1.5% of net patient revenue. If passed by the state Legislature, the fee would result in a net gain in Medicaid reimbursement to hospitals of about $80 million and would expire in four years, said John Matessino, president and chief executive officer of the Louisiana Hospital Association. -- by Paul Barr
Okla., La. take steps to boost Medicaid funding
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