Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, D-Conn., has announced that the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the section of Connecticut’s proposed hospital plan that would waive federal requirements related to the hospital user fees.
Connecticut’s hospital user fee was enacted in 2011 as part of the state’s biennial budget for Fiscal Years 2012-2013 that also increased state payments to hospitals. Last September, the Department of Social Services submitted a waiver request to CMS for inpatient and outpatient hospital user fees, and the request was updated in November shortly after the Fiscal Years 2018-2019 budget was adopted. The waiver was required because the user fees levied in Public Act 17-4, enacted during June’s special legislative session, exceeded the six percent general threshold set by CMS for user fees.
“We are thankful for the approval by CMS, as the revenue generated by the user fees is essential for the state budget, allowing the state to make significant investments in hospitals, above the fees they already receive for treating Connecticut residents on HUSKY,” Malloy said. “The agreement with hospitals still has some components waiting federal sign-off, but this approval is a key step in the overall arrangement adopted in the budget. I appreciate the hard work of staff at the Office of Policy and Management, the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Revenue Services, which led to this agreement and approval, and was so critical to reaching any budget agreement in 2017. We should remember that failure to secure federal approval of this agreement would have added hundreds of millions of dollars in deficit this year, next year, and into the future.”
The governor added that the state is awaiting CMS approval on the companion pieces to the user fees, including Medicaid State Plan Amendments regarding hospital supplemental payments and rate increases.