House Health Committee Approves Bills Concerning Medical Assistance, Says Baker
HARRISBURG – The House Health Committee this week approved two bills authored by Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga), chairman of the committee, that are designed to save taxpayer money and streamline the budget process in regard to the state’s Medical Assistance (MA) program.
Baker’s House Bill 523 would require the non-custodial parent of children for whom Medical Assistance (MA) is sought to enroll their children in their own health insurance plan before the Commonwealth would pay for medical care for them.
“This may seem like common sense to most people, but the reality is that the Commonwealth taxpayers may currently be paying for medical care for children whose non-custodial parent has health insurance,” said Baker. “Medical Assistance should always be the payer of last resort, and my legislation will help ensure that this is the case.”
House Bill 278, concerning critical care hospitals, was also approved by the committee. Medical Assistance reimbursements for critical care hospitals are split between the federal and state governments. Pennsylvania typically has to negotiate its portion and then add it into the state budget. House Bill 278 would make the payment of the state share a permanent part of the budget to ensure the state’s 13 critical care hospitals always receive full MA reimbursement.
Critical care access hospitals, such as Troy Community Hospital in Bradford County, are defined as rural, located at least 35 miles from another hospital, have an average daily census of less than 25 patients and participate in the Medicare program.
“This is an important allocation that our critical care access hospitals need to have included in Pennsylvania’s annual state budget,” said Baker. “Balancing the budget is always a challenging process and securing state payment of MA reimbursements will help ensure payment is always made in full to these vital health care facilities.”
Both bill now head to the full House for consideration.
Representative Matthew Baker
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman