The State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2017 NH legislative session continues with legislators considering a number of bills that have crossed over from one body to the other. The big story of the last couple of weeks was that the House was unable to pass a budget to send over to the Senate. Consequently, the Senate began their budget work last week using the Governor’s budget, since there is no House budget to consider. The Senate Finance Committee has asked for the House Finance Committee’s recommendations and is likely to consider some of their proposals during the Senate phase of the budget. The next few weeks will be busy at the State House with the Senate budget writers crafting their version of the SFY 18/19 State budget, while other committees continue hearings of various pieces of legislation.

NHHA and our members continue to have significant concerns with the proposed annual budgeted uncompensated care funding levels for Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments owed to the acute care hospitals. The Governor’s proposed budget underfunds the DSH program by approximately $150 million over the biennium, and potentially violates the settlement agreement reached in 2014 between the state and the hospitals after two Superior Court judges had ruled that the Medicaid Enhancement Tax (MET), which is used to fund the DSH program, was unconstitutional.  

The settlement agreement established minimum and maximum levels of funding needed to sustain the DSH program and protect both the state and hospitals. Hospitals are projected to pay MET taxes of approximately $236 million in FY 2018 and $243 million in FY 2019, with DSH payments expected to be at the agreed upon cap of $241 million each year. The Governor’s budget, which funds DSH at approximately $166 million per year for the next two years, would be in violation of the settlement agreement.

It is our belief that the prudent approach would be to budget the DSH program at the agreed upon cap as outlined in the MET settlement agreement. NHHA will work with the State Senate Finance Committee to provide information and advocate for the proper funding of the DSH program for the next two years.

All of the bills that NHHA is following can be found on our web site at http://bills.nhha.org and includes links to bill language, the prime sponsor, hearing dates/times and the current status of the bill.

 

Download the April 2017 Legislative Newsletter

Download the March 2017 Legislative Newsletter 

 

Please find below a downloadable list of all state laws affecting hospitals as a result of the 2016 NH Legislative Session.

State Laws Affecting Hospitals

 

NHHA Advocacy Staff

Steve Ahnen, President

(603) 415-4250

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Kathy Bizarro-Thunberg, Executive Vice President, Federal Relations

(603) 415-4252

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Paula Minnehan, Vice President, State Government Relations

(603) 415-4254

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Travis Boucher, Director, Fiscal Policy & Reimbursement

(603) 415-4253

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Debbie Augustine, Legislative Assistant

(603) 415-4256

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