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The premier resource for hospital professionals from Relias Media, the trusted source for healthcare information and continuing education.

Medicaid cuts take a toll

Concurring with other states regarding substantial reimbursement cuts by Medicaid, hospitals in Florida join the others – New Hampshire, Arizona and California, in 2012.

According to news reports, the cuts are designed to save state dollars by paying hospitals an even rate for Medicaid services, cut Medicaid coverage from 45 hospital stays to 23 in one year, and limit emergency room visits to 12.

Reportedly, last week the New Hampshire state attorney general office asked that a lawsuit filed by New Hampshire hospitals be thrown out, saying the law prevents the state's reimbursement rates from being legally challenged.

The lawsuit in question involves ten hospitals, which during the summer sued New Hampshire to block the two-year budget that calls for slashing Medicaid payments by $115 million, arguing that it would prevent equal access to medical care for low-income patients. Now the state is currently negotiating with the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) to determine whether its reimbursement plan is acceptable.

To add insult to injury, ABC News reported that suicide has increased in rural America. Coincidence? Not according to mental health professionals who attribute at least part of the blame to cutback in Medicare funding.

In the ABC News report, Kathie Garrett, co-chairman of the Idaho Council on Suicide Prevention, says the problem has gotten only worse since the recession. “Cuts in Medicaid have reduced the services available to the mentally ill. I personally know people who lost Medicaid who've attempted suicide," says Garrett.