As the calendar flipped to 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration backed a 1 percent rate cut for the Medicaid program, a move that will reduce payments in the program by hundreds of millions of dollars.
The development, announced with little fanfare in the State Register on New Year’s eve, comes amid a $4 billion gap in the Medicaid program for the 2019-20 fiscal year and a $6.1 billion hole for the 2020-21 state fiscal year that begins April 1.
The rate cut will affect payments to hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, those who provide home-care services and managed-care plans in the program.
As Bill Hammond of The Empire Center noted, the cut likely means a $62 million reduction in 2019 and $248 million in 2020 of the state’s share alone.
Overall, with federal matching funds taken into consideration, gross Medicaid payments would be reduced by $496 million.
Still, the problems for the program will persist.
“It should be emphasized that these cost-cutting moves are about slowing growth,” Hammond wrote. “Even if they are fully implemented, overall spending on Medicaid will almost certainly increase in the year ahead.”
Nevertheless, some lawmakers wanted to avoid cuts altogether in the program, including Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried.
“Cutting health care=people will die,” he tweeted.