Special Medicaid funds help most states, but raise oversight concerns [Boss Insurance]

Grady Memorial Hospital In Atlanta, A Major Safety Net Provider, Is Seeing Increasing Numbers Of Medicaid And Uninsured Patients Who Previously Used The Nearby Atlanta Medical Center, Which Closed Last Year.

Emanuel Medical Center in rural Georgia racks up more than $350,000 a month in losses providing health care to low-income, uninsured patients. But a new state funding proposal could significantly reduce those shortfalls, not just for Swainsboro’s 66-bed facility, but for most rural Georgia hospitals, state Medicaid officials say.

It is not the expansion of Medicaid, which Republican leaders in Georgia rejected. Instead, the state Department of Community Health is using an under-the-radar Medicaid funding opportunity that was quickly taken up by more than 35 states, including most states that have expanded the government insurance program.

The extra federal money comes from an arcane and convoluted mechanism called “directed payments” — available only to states that hire health insurers to provide services for Medicaid.