Amendment to fund Medicaid provider rates to benchmark fails (copy)

An amendment to further increase Medicaid provider reimbursement rates failed in a 13-10 vote Tuesday before the House Appropriations Committee.

Carried by Rep. John Fitzpatrick, R-Anaconda, the amendment would have brought provider rates in line with the benchmarks suggested by Guidehouse, the team commissioned by the state to assess reimbursement falls short in four essential human services departments.

The amendment also added a 3% inflationary increase for each year between 2021 and 2024. An additional 3% increase would have covered 2025.

“The concern I have with this issue is that we’re making a big bet. And the bet is this: we’ve either provided them with enough money so that they can continue on and go through the next biennium and survive. Or two, we’ve short-changed them and we’re going to lose service providers,” Fitzpatrick said.

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Over the last two years, providers serving a large population of Medicaid recipients reported a 14% increase to their expenditures, much greater than the typical 2% inflation seen in a typical biennium, Fitzpatrick said.

Inflation, provider shortages and wage pressures have pushed services to the brink of closure in the years since the pandemic.

In 2022, 11

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