Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, under pressure from the Ohio Hospital Association, agreed to delay a recalibration of Medicaid DRG weights as a concession meant to ease the pain of canceling Medicaid rate increases that hospitals and physicians expected to kick in Jan. 1.
State officials said earlier this week they would have to hold off on the increases3.3% for hospitals and a 3% for doctorsthat Strickland called for in his budget proposal.
Based on the fact that caseloads are higher than we projected and the fact that revenues are down a little bit, we need to take a look and get a handle on what this trend is doing before moving forward, said Dennis Evans, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.
OHA spokeswoman Tiffany Himmelreich said the association is very pleased with Stricklands three-month delay of the recalibration, which hospitals had been prepared to go along with only because the rate boost would have yielded a net gain of about $11 million in 2008, according to the associations calculations.
But postponing the DRG tweaks doesnt help doctors, and the Ohio State Medical Association remains bitter. The trust between Ohios physicians and state government has been violated, OSMA President Craig Anderson said in a written statement. -- by Gregg Blesch
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