Recently the Health Care Authority, the Department of Health, and other state agencies sent notices some entities contracted with the state. The notice says state contracts will be suspended if the legislature fails to agree on budget appropriations for the upcoming biennium by midnight of June 30, 2017. HCA did not suspend Core Provider Agreements for Medicaid providers. However, there will likely be a payment delay to those providers as HCA will stop all administrative activity. The notice advises that if the budget is not enacted by midnight of June 30, contractors should suspend delivery of goods or the performance of services until the budget has been enacted.
Because many health care services cannot be delayed due to EMTALA requirements or patient care concerns, WSHA believes it is very likely the operating budget, when enacted, will cover medical services retroactive to July 1. That said, if the budget is enacted significantly later than June 30, there may be a delay in claim payments directly from the state and through managed care plans for Medicaid and PEBB until the funding is authorized. Hospitals and health care providers should prepare for the possibility of cash flow issues related to delayed payment. (Andrew Busz, email@example.com)