Policies Issued to Eliminate Medicaid Rural Access Pool Funding

Posted on October 04, 2019

The Medical Services Administration (MSA) recently released concurrent proposed and final policies to rescind MSA 13-50 and eliminate the rural access pool funding for fiscal year (FY) 2020, which began Oct. 1, 2019. The MSA is discontinuing both the rural access and obstetrical (OB) stabilization pools to align with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s line-item vetoes in the FY 2020 budget for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Enrolled Senate Bill 139 (see related article). A policy is not required to rescind the OB stabilization pool, as it does not contain a fee-for-service (FFS) component.

The rural access pool was established in FY 2012 to provide additional Medicaid funding to rural and sole-community hospitals that provided Medicaid services to low-income rural residents. For FY 2019, this pool provided approximately $22 million in payments, with approximately $6 million distributed through Medicaid FFS and the remainder as general fund payments. The OB stabilization pool provided approximately $8 million to rural hospitals in FY 2019 for OB services delivered to low-income rural residents.

The MHA will work with the Legislature and the Whitmer administration to restore the funding for these pools. Elimination of the FFS rural access pool is contingent upon state plan amendment approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The MHA will make its draft comments on the proposed and final policies available prior to the Nov. 4 deadline and encourages hospitals to submit comments to the MSA before the deadline. Members with questions should contact Vickie Kunz at the MHA.

Tags: MDHHS, MSA, state budget, Vickie Kunz, SB 139, rural access, OB stabilization

Posted in: Member News

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