by Heather Foster, MPH
Just before NACHC’s recent Policy & Issues Forum in DC, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Jay Inslee (D-WA) introduced legislation to ensure that Medicaid Health Information Technology (HIT) Incentive Payments established under ARRA are paid directly to health centers. The bills are S. 643 and H.R. 1187 respectively. As you remember from last year, this is a technical fix that would ensure state Medicaid offices make HIT incentive payments directly to health centers, so that health centers’ costs of investing in and maintaining HIT are covered. This modification is consistent with health centers’ current Medicaid reimbursement in which state Medicaid offices make these payments directly to the FQHC as an entity, rather than the provider. Additional information on the legislation can be found here.
Without the fix, health centers will need to work with each eligible provider individually in order to ensure that the payments are assigned to the health center. For technical assistance on reassigning payments, please see the issue brief put together by NACHC earlier this year.
Health center constituents of the Fix-HIT Act’s sponsors should be sure to thank Senators Stabenow and Snowe and Congressmen Kinzinger and Inslee as well as their staffs for their hard work and unwavering support of health centers.