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Fiscal Cliff Looming, Healthcare Providers Move to Protect Funding

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 6, 2012

Provider assessments allow states to generate revenue and federal matching funds for Medicaid. The assessments allow for expanded coverage and benefits and increased reimbursement rates. Recent budget proposals have suggested reducing the provider assessment threshold from 6%, or eliminating the program altogether.

Also this week, NAPH launched an advertising campaign that features short videos and related research designed to educate policymakers and the public about Medicaid's value to patients and the economy.

The advertisements stress the value of Medicaid coverage to the health of the more than 60 million people in the program, mostly children, women and the disabled.

The campaign also highlights Medicaid's value to state and local economies by keeping workers healthy and on the job and contributing to job creation and other economic activity in healthcare and related sectors.

"Medicaid is not only good for patients, it's good for communities," Siegel said in a media release announcing the campaign. "The evidence clearly shows the personal health and financial benefits of the program and its efficiency compared with private insurance and Medicare. But beyond its obvious benefits to health, Medicaid injects economic life into communities and states."

Safety net hospitals drive nearly 800,000 jobs nationwide and pump about $120 billion into state economies. Even modest cuts to Medicaid put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk and would bleed billions of dollars in federal support to states.

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