Around the nation: April 24, 2015

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • Alabama: The Alabama Senate on Tuesday voted 22-8 along party lines to approve a resolution discouraging the governor from expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Gov. Robert Bentley (R) is facing pressure to expand the program. However, state Sen. Trip Pittman (R) said the cost of the state's Medicaid program already is unsustainable (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 4/21)
  • California: California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) this week criticized Anthem Blue Cross of California's nearly 9% average rate hike as "unjustified and unreasonable." However, Jones does not have authority to reject health insurance rate hikes after residents last November voted against Proposition 45 (Herman, Modern Healthcare, 4/22 [subscription required]).
  • Florida: The Urban Institute on Tuesday said that Florida officials might have misinterpreted its research in the state's push to renew federal funding for a program that helps hospitals pay for uncompensated care. According to Politico Pro, Florida officials have cited Urban Institute research to argue that providers still would have about $1.6 billion in uncompensated care costs annually even if the state expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Those officials have said that the research shows that federal funding for LIP should remain at the same level even if the state expands Medicaid. However, Urban Institute in a statement said it is "concerned that [its] estimate may have been misinterpreted as a measure of the need for LIP to continue funding uncompensated care under Medicaid expansion" (Pradhan, Politico Pro, 4/22 [subscription required]; Urban Institute release, 4/21).

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