Some hospitals across the state will not receive millions of dollars the state owes them for Medicaid patients until the next fiscal year begins July 1st. Hospital leaders are frustrated the state didn’t warn them about the cash flow problem before it missed a payment. Bob Gibbons with the Massachusetts Hospital Association says the delay is especially difficult for institutions with large numbers of Medicaid patients.
"It is those hospitals in particular that we’re concerned about because they may well be the same hospitals that have very few days of cash on hand."
The state says it has hit a cash flow crunch because a new accounting system sped up payments to providers earlier this year. Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services, Terry Dougherty, says most providers should not be behind, but the state will consider requests from hospitals that can’t absorb this delay.
"Our management team has been looking at those and we will be cutting some special payments out to make sure providers are not stuck if you will, due to the loss of cash flow."
The hospital association says about 25% of hospitals in the state have the cash to cover 45 days or less.
This program aired on June 22, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.