Posted on May 01, 2017
Health Budgets Support Key Healthcare Priorities, but Threaten DSH Funds
Last week, both the state House and Senate appropriations committees reported separate versions of the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget to their respective full chambers. Both versions mirror Gov. Rick Snyder’s executive recommendation by including the funding necessary to continue the MHA-supported Healthy Michigan Plan Medicaid expansion, which provides coverage for more than 650,000 Michigan residents.
In addition, neither the House nor Senate Appropriations Committee proposed cuts for graduate medical education, small and rural hospitals, or the obstetrics stabilization fund. Together, these three pools represent more than $200 million in payments to hospitals to serve vulnerable populations and encompass three top legislative priorities identified by the MHA Board of Trustees.
The only direct reduction to hospitals is a proposed 10 percent cut to the traditional $45 million Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) pool in the House version of the budget. This reduction would save only $1.6 million in state general funds, but would reduce hospital funding by approximately $4.5 million due to the loss of federal matching funds. At the MHA’s request, an amendment was offered to the House Appropriations Committee to restore the cut. Unfortunately, it was not adopted, and the Health and Human Services budget was reported with the 10 percent reduction.
Although the reduction to hospital reimbursement is small compared to the overall general fund reduction in the budget for the DHHS, the MHA is asking members to contact their state House member to request a return to the governor’s recommendation on the $45 million hospital DSH pool. Use the MHA State Budget Talking Points and the MHA Legislative Action Center for assistance in identifying elected officials or finding their contact information.
Ultimately, the DHHS budget will be placed into a larger omnibus budget bill comprised of most state department budgets. These omnibus budgets will be voted on by the full House and Senate as soon as this week before heading to a joint House and Senate Conference Committee for further deliberation. The Legislature is still slated to complete their work on the budget in June. For more information about the FY 2018 state budget, contact Chris Mitchell at the MHA.
Posted in: Monday Report