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Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 1:40pm

Hospital Fee Approved

To fill a Medicaid budget gap, hospitals agreed to a 1.45 % provider fee. The measure passed the appropriations committee today.

Governor Perdue wanted 1.6 %, but hospitals negotiated for a lower percentage. The fee will bring in $175 million dollars and is set to start July 1st. The state will use the funds to draw down 3 times more in federal Medicaid dollars.

The fee was tough to swallow for hospitals at first, but Earl Rogers with the Georgia Hospital Association told the appropriations committee that the industry can live with the compromise.

"We came up with what I think is a reasonable, solid proposal that will help the state with their budget situation," he said. "And while it’s not easy it’s the best proposal for the hospital community."

The alternative would have been a 10.25 % cut in Medicaid reimbursements. The provider fee will only last for 3 years. Critical access, psychiatric and state owned hospitals are exempt from the fee.

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