Credit SalFalko, Mentus Media / Flickr Creative Commons
A judge has ruled that New Hampshire cannot collect a Medicaid Enhancement Tax from hospitals. In a ruling released Friday, Hillsborough County Superior Court Philip Mangones says the state should have stopped collecting the tax in 2011 when a loophole in the Medicaid reimbursement system closed. He says the tax is unconstitutional. Catholic Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital and Exeter Hospital sued in 2011, challenging the $31 million they paid in the tax that year. Before 2011, hospitals paid the tax and the state paid them back plus 3 percent--the enhancement--using federal Medicaid dollars. The state was reimbursed by the federal government and that money went into the state's general fund. Mangones ruled that the state intended to eliminate the tax when the federal loophole closed.
A recent national study of how much hospitals charge Medicare showed giant disparities among different facilities, even for the same procedures and within the same city! The research comes as policymakers intensify their focus on costs. We’ll explore why these huge variations exist, and efforts to reduce the price tag at hospitals in the Granite State.
Michael Green – President and CEO of Concord Hospital
Ned Helms –Director of the New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice at UNH
It’s been a little more than 100 days since the state of New Hampshire dramatically re-shaped its biggest program. On December 1st, traditional Medicaid became Medicaid Managed Care, shifting administration of the health program into the hands of private companies in the hopes of saving $15 million a year.
Perhaps the biggest change to the program for recipients revolves around something called prior authorizations.