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2/20/2017 Group Watch: Major Hospitals Pull Out of Medicaid Reform

An overhaul of the state’s Medicaid program has already been postponed a year and could face more delays after the departure of several healthcare systems over concerns about the program’s direction and costs. In recent months, several of Alabama’s largest hospitals, including UAB and the University of South Alabama, have suspended plans to create regional care organizations. The CEO of UAB Health System said lawmakers should postpone the October start of the plan to evaluate loopholes that opened the market to out-of-state companies that specialize in managing Medicaid programs. Although several large hospitals have shelved plans to put together regional care organizations, not all have pulled out of the program. Leaders of a regional care organization with participation from DCH Hospital in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville Hospital are still pushing for an October rollout of Medicaid reform. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has stated that an extension beyond October 1, 2017, will result in the withdrawal of waiver approval and the loss of approximately $748 million in waiver funding.

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