A Florida delegation of federal lawmakers has introduced legislation to put a two-year moratorium on CMS rule changes that would cut funding for hospitals. In the House, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) introduced a bill that would block the proposed changes. Earlier this month, Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) introduced a bill that would do the same.
"It is simply unfair to punish our local hospitals that are barely able to make ends meet as it is, because of the federal government’s reckless spending habits," Klein said in a statement.
In January, the CMS proposed a rule that narrows the definition of a public hospital, and says that Medicaid payments to healthcare providers operated by local governments cannot exceed costs. The CMS said that rule would help Medicaid save $4 billion over five years.
Hospital groups, including the American Hospital Association, however have railed against the CMS’ proposal, saying it would limit healthcare services to poor and uninsured patients.
In Florida, Klein’s office said the changes would result in a $4.6 billion cut in Medicaid payments over five years. The proposed rule would limit the use of intergovernmental transfers, alter the upper-payment limit and change some other federal-state financial partnerships. The comment period for the proposed rule ends March 19.