BRISTOL - The Connecticut Hospital Association has reached an agreement with Gov. Ned Lamontâ€™s administration to pay back state hospitals for a lack of full Medicaid reimbursements they have been receiving - which left Bristol Hospital underpaid by about $2 million per quarter.
Republican legislators met with 15 Bristol Hospital employees Wednesday at the stateâ€™s Legislative Office Building for Connecticut Hospital Day, which is hosted by the Connecticut Hospital Association. During the meeting - which was meant for hospital leadership and employees to express concerns to their lawmakers - state Rep. Whit Betts announced the agreement that was reached between CHA and Lamontâ€™s administration.
â€śIt was causing significant financial distress,â€ť Betts said of the state underpaying Connecticut hospitals for Medicaid reimbursements.
Kurt Barwis, president and CEO of Bristol Hospital, discussed the underpayments in February, saying it cost Bristol Hospital $2 million a quarter. In total, the state has agreed to pay $230 million to Connecticutâ€™s hospitals for the underpayments. By June, the hospitals should be made whole again.
Those in attendance Wednesday also included state Sen. Henri Martin, state Rep. Cara Pavalock-Dâ€™Amato and state Rep. William Petit.
Martin was asked about the state hospital tax, which costs Connecticut hospitals a total of $900 million annually. Martin said that tax was originally proposed as a temporary tax that has yet to go away. He also said there had been discussions and an agreement about cutting that $900 million down to $384 million, but he hasnâ€™t heard much on that recently.
â€śI wish that we knew more,â€ť Martin said.
Last year, the hospital tax cost Bristol Hospital $2.6 million. The hospital also lost $4.5 million in Medicaid reimbursements, although this was not related to the recent issue of the state underpaying hospitals for the reimbursements, according to Christopher Boyle, hospital spokesman.
â€śWhat happens is we donâ€™t get reimbursed 100 percent,â€ť Boyle said.
â€śStay tuned, I guess, is the best thing I can tell you,â€ť Martin said of the hospital tax.
Betts added that hospitals have become a â€śfinancial, political pawn.â€ť
â€śI suspect that will continue,â€ť Betts said.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.