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Posted: May 24, 2013

Toumpas: $40 Million Hole for DHHS

Late this morning, Commissioner Toumpas told the Senate Finance committee that the way the Senate has structured the DHHS budget additional cuts and reductions will likely be required over the next two years beginning July, 2013. One reason for shortfall is the Senate’s decision to continue with the House’s recommendation that APTD caseloads will continue to decrease over the next two years. The department predicts a slight uptick in caseloads. In addition, the Senate has added “back of the budget” cuts and other requirements that Toumpas says result in millions of dollars in a DHHS shortfall. Toumpas says another $40 million is necessary to ensure that to cuts to personnel and possibly to the DD/ABD Waitlists, Mental Health, CHINS and others are avoided. There were no dollar amounts assigned to the specific programs the Commissioner mentioned today.

 

Senate Finance committee rejects Medicaid expansion

Members of the Senate Finance Committee voted 4-2 Wednesday night to reject New Hampshire’s participation in the Medicaid expansion, as called for under the Affordable Care Act. The Senate Finance Committee replaced language in the budget with a study commission that would examine the impact of the expansion on the state, specifically whether it will lower costs and improve health outcomes. Senate President Peter Bragdon, said he had cost concerns should the federal government not follow through on its promise to cover most of the cost of the expansion and that no information provided thus far has answered those questions about cost and health outcomes. The study commission would have $200,000 to do its analysis and report out by Dec. 1, 2014.

 

Senate Finance Committee to Hospitals: Sign up for Medicaid Managed Care Or No Charity Reimbursement

There is now an amendment to HB 2 to require hospitals to participate in a managed care network by July 1, 2013 if they want state compensation for charity care.

 

Key Changes Senate has Made to the House’s Budget

Most of the cuts and reductions the Senate may impose and some potential additions/restorations continue to be on hold in the Finance committee, although the Senate has voted to cut the Family Resources Centers by $240,000 over the biennium as recommended by the House.

 

The committee is expected to vote on its proposed budget next Tuesday and the full Senate would vote June 6.

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