A pair of important WSHA priority bills passed the legislature within the last week and will be sent to the governor for signature.
- ESSB 5103 – Concerning payment to acute care hospitals for difficult to discharge Medicaid patients addresses payment to hospitals for Medicaid patients that no longer require inpatient level of care but are unable to be discharged to an appropriate post-acute setting. While hospitals will continue to be paid under the existing administrative day payment rate structure, the bill allows for separate payment for surgeries and other significant medical services that are not part of the care usually provided in a post-acute setting and included in the administrative day rate. The bill also requires standardization of how the Medicaid managed care organizations administer administrative day payment. On April 14 the Senate concurred on the bill as amended and unanimously passed by the House April 12.
- SHB 1850 – Concerning the hospital safety net program directs the Health Care Authority to implement a directed payment program to increase funding and payment for hospitals services provided to Medicaid enrollees. The new program will significantly reduce the gap between the actual cost of care and payment for Medicaid services. Since the program is fully funded through assessments from hospitals and federal match, no state funds are required. (Andrew Busz, AndrewB@wsha.org)