Medicaid 'freeze' hits Ohio hospitals

SANDUSKY The prognosis for Ohio's Medicaid reimbursement rates doesn't look good. This week,
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

The prognosis for Ohio's Medicaid reimbursement rates doesn't look good.

This week, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services filed a permanent rule to freeze inpatient Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals through 2009, which is anticipated to cost hospitals about $165 million during the two-year period.

"The question is, how many financial hits can the hospitals withstand?" said Tiffany Himmelreich, spokeswoman for the Ohio Hospital Association.

In December 2007, Gov. Ted Strickland issued an emergency rule hospitals would not receive the 3.3 percent increase for Medicaid reimbursement scheduled to take effect this month. Strickland's decision to halt the reimbursement was expected to cost Ohio hospitals about $55 million, according to the Ohio Hospital Association. This new permanent ruling, which makes Strickland's emergency rule an official one, will increase that cost by $110 million.

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