Senate backs protection for hospital funding

Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Louisiana Senate has agreed to make it more difficult to shrink dollars paid to private hospitals and nursing homes for taking care of Medicaid patients.

Overwhelming approval came Tuesday despite concerns that locking up dollars in Medicaid would leave public colleges more at risk to cuts during budget shortfalls.

One measure would let hospitals pool their money and use those dollars to draw down federal Medicaid money. In exchange, cuts to hospital payments would be limited. That bill received final legislative passage with a 33-5 Senate vote.

The other proposal would set a floor on Medicaid patient reimbursements paid to nursing homes, pharmacies and institutions for the developmentally disabled. It heads back to House for approval of changes.

The proposals need approval from voters before they can take effect.

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