Mississippi's Private Hospitals To Help Pick Up Medicaid Tab - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi's Private Hospitals To Help Pick Up Medicaid Tab

Beginning next month, the state's private hospitals will be charged millions to help pay for the Medicaid system.

Medicaid provides health care for nearly 748,000 disabled, elderly and needy Mississippians. Until now, public hospitals like University Medical Center in Jackson were solely assessed for the $50 million Medicaid shortfall.

Governor Haley Barbour is now including private hospitals to help ease the burden.

Critics, like House Speaker Billy McCoy, call it a tax on sick folks, saying hospitals will pass the costs on to patients. But the Division of Medicaid says hospitals will be at least partially reimbursed with federal funds.

"If the CFOs realize, it's little or no money lost. So whether to raise their costs is certainly on an individual basis," said Francis Rullan with the Division of Medicaid.

The federal government gives Mississippi $3 for every $1 the state puts into Medicaid. The Governor is also asking the legislature to appropriate $45 million to Medicaid to further reduce the burden on hospitals.

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