A proposal to charge hospitals an additional fee may hold up state budget negotiations for the next budget year. The additional revenue could help the state get additional federal dollars for health care, supporters said.
Democrats from the state House and Senate said Wednesday they would not support a budget plan that did not include a provider fee for hospitals.
The fee would bring in additional revenue. Those dollars could be used to help draw down federal dollars, which are matched $3 for every state $1.
"We will stall this budget process if this budget doesn’t include a hospital provider fee,” said Rep. Scott Inman, D-Del City.
Officials with the Oklahoma Hospital Association said they support a fee because it would "sustain the services hospitals provide to Medicaid patients in their communities,” according to a statement sent by Craig Jones, president of the association. More than 20 states apply the provider fee to hospitals, Jones said.
Jones called the creation of a provider fee this session, "an opportunity for hospitals to help themselves in receiving additional federal matching funds without adversely impacting the state or hospital consumers.”
The fee could bring in additional federal dollars and free up state dollars to be spent in other areas of state government.
$1.2B budget gap
State leaders are working to close a $1.