Nashville, TN – Tennessee hospital officials have approved a fee assessment they hope will raise about $200 million and help mitigate severe cuts to the state's expanded Medicaid program. The board of the Tennessee Hospital Association unanimously agreed Monday for an "enhanced coverage fee" to be placed on hospitals in order to draw down federal funds. THA president Craig Becker says the fee will be between 1 and 2 percent and will not reflect on patients' bills.
Governor Phil Bredesen has said he needs to cut $201 million from TennCare to balance an almost 28 and a half billion dollar state budget. The TennCare reduction is part of $394 million in cuts to recurring spending plans. Without the fee, Becker estimates the loss to hospitals statewide will be about $540 million.