Twenty-four states increased Medicaid reimbursement to hospitals in fiscal 2005 and 25 states did the same for 2006, as state tax revenue jumped while Medicaid spending growth slowed, according to a report by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. The report was based on interviews conducted before Hurricane Katrina. Despite the lessened fiscal pressure, states remained concerned about rising healthcare costs and declining employer-based coverage, and many Medicaid programs moved to contain costs by tightening eligibility, reducing benefits or cutting reimbursement, the commission said. State tax revenue increased 4.9% in 2005, the largest one-year increase since 2000. Although state Medicaid spending still grew faster at 7.5%, the difference was smaller than in previous years. It was the third straight year Medicaid spending growth slowed. In 2004, state tax revenue was up 3.2% while Medicaid spending rose 7.9%. Seventeen states increased Medicaid payments to doctors in 2005 and 20 did so for 2006, the commission reported. Twenty states changed eligibility standards to increase enrollment in 2005 and 22 did the same for 2006. Read the report. A similar report was released in September by the Health Policy Tracking Service. Read Modern Healthcare's article on that report. -- by Tony Fong
With tax revenue up, many states boost provider pay
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