Hospital leaders ask lawmakers to reconsider HB563 - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Hospital leaders ask lawmakers to reconsider HB563

More than 100 hospital representatives showed up in Montgomery on Tuesday wanting lawmakers to reconsider. More than 100 hospital representatives showed up in Montgomery on Tuesday wanting lawmakers to reconsider.
MONTGOMERY, AL (WAFF) -

Lawmakers got a visit from doctors and hospital leaders from across the state Tuesday.

They were there urging them to reconsider a bill that they believe would hit hospitals hard.

House Bill 563 would extend a Medicaid funding stream to hospitals and determine how long lawmakers would decide to keep it going.

More than 100 hospital representatives showed up in Montgomery on Tuesday wanting lawmakers to reconsider.

Most are unaware the hospital portion of Medicaid is completely funded by hospitals themselves.

Hospitals that are public, private or state-owned then pay an assessment, which the state then takes to the federal government to match the cost.

This process has been renewed for years, but then lawmakers introduced HB-563, which would renew this process for the next five years.

Hospital leaders responded with a resounding "no" because with all the current changes happening to Medicaid at the federal level, hospitals can't commit to a five year deal that may change, and in turn they could be left on the hook for care costs.

Lawmakers understood their concerns and agreed. The bill is now being re-drafted with only a three year renewal. After the second year, lawmakers can go back and factor in any changes made at the federal level with the Obama administration's healthcare reform.

"Medicaid cannot survive without this hospital assessment program. It's just too fundamental to the healthcare delivery system, so everybody sat down and understands and we are in total agreement on everything now," said Danne Howard with Alabama Hospital Association.

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