It seems that when the government needs money, they take a look around to see where they can take it from, and New York State has hit the medical profession again.
New York State has implemented an across the board Medicaid payment reduction of 1.1%. The reduction started on all checks issued after September 15, 2010 and will continue until March 31, 2011. This reduction is due to the 2010-2011 State Budget and it was enacted to address financial plan deficiencies relating to reductions to the FMAP or Federal Medical Assistance Percentage authorized by Congress.
Providers have been trying to fight this reduction but up thru last week have been unsuccessful. They have appealed to Albany lawmakers with no luck, so they have taken their fight to Washington.
These cuts come on top of previous state cuts to the Medicaid program and come at a time where providers are already operating at a break-even level or even at a loss. Many fear that these cuts may push providers who are on the fence to stop participating in the Medicaid program which will make it difficult for patients to get medical care.
So now what does this really mean? In my opinion it means that our state government desperately needs money so they decided to take it from medical providers. What they are doing is figuring out what Medicaid should pay, putting it all down in black and white on the EOB, then subtracting 1.1% to keep for themselves. I guess they thought that such a low percent might go unnoticed, but I think they are wrong. At a time when providers are already facing high expenses and lower reimbursements, they are just cutting more. How much will the providers take? What state is next?