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Mass. Hospitals Get Delay On Medicaid Payments

This article is more than 11 years old.

Some Massachusetts hospitals will not receive millions of dollars the state owes them for Medicaid patients until the new fiscal year begins July 1.

Hospital leaders complain the state did not warn them about a cash flow problem before it skipped an expected payment. Bob Gibbons with the Massachusetts Hospital Association said it is a difficult situation 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," said Gibbons.

The state attributes the delay to a new accounting system, and officials say they tried to head off the problem by speeding up payments to providers earlier this year. Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services Terry Dougherty said that means most providers should not be behind.

"Our management team has been looking at those [concerns] 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," Dougherty said.

Public health officials are reviewing requests for on-time reimbursement on a case-by-case basis.

This program aired on June 23, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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