Home » Bill expanding access to healthcare signed by governor

Bill expanding access to healthcare signed by governor

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear was joined by healthcare leaders and lawmakers in the Capitol Rotunda for a bill-signing ceremony honoring the passage of legislation that expands healthcare services for Kentuckians.

House Bill 75 also supports Kentucky’s hospitals by boosting Medicaid payment rates for outpatient procedures performed at hospitals. The law is expected to provide needed budgetary support for hospitals, especially the state’s rural healthcare facilities.

“More than any other entity, Kentucky’s hospitals have felt the strain of increased demand on resources and services as we’ve dealt with the impacts of a global pandemic over the past three years and devastating weather events,” said Gov. Beshear. “We must do everything we can to support our hospitals and ensure they are equipped to provide the services and care needed in their communities. I am thrilled to sign HB 75 into law, ensuring that our hospitals, especially our rural providers, can continue to improve health outcomes for all our Kentucky families.”

“HB 75 is aimed at improving access to quality health care to every Kentuckian and serving as a lifeline to rural hospitals serving communities throughout our commonwealth,” said Rep. Brandon Reed of Hodgenville. “With HB 75 now granting access to hospitals to be reimbursed for outpatient services, hospitals can harness federal resources while using those state funds. This measure builds on legislation we approved in 2019 with Rep. Bam Carney and in 2021 with HB 183. I thank the Kentucky Hospital Association, which once again trusted me with their legislation, and my primary co-sponsor, Dr. Danny Bentley, for his help and guidance. Thank you to the many co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle, and thank you to our governor for your approval.”

The new law, supported by the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA), requires the state’s Department for Medicaid Services to assess outpatient services and provide additional payments to hospitals to reduce payment gaps between Medicaid reimbursements and what would be paid by private health insurance. The measure also allows Medicaid to create a hospital rate increase program for individuals enrolled in its fee-for-service program to pay up to the upper payment limit of the federal Medicare program. The legislation is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023.

“The Kentucky Medicaid program serves one out of every three Kentuckians,” said Department for Medicaid Services Commissioner Lisa Lee. “The additional funding provided through HB 75 will allow hospitals to continue to deliver quality care designed to improve the lives of those we serve. As a native of Eastern Kentucky, I am excited for the opportunities this legislation will provide for our rural communities. The department is thankful for the collaboration of all involved in this important legislation. Gov. Beshear’s signature on this legislation demonstrates his commitment to ensuring health care is available to all Kentuckians.”

Gov. Beshear has also worked to strengthen our healthcare systems. In 2021, he announced that Kentucky hospitals would receive an additional $800 million to $1 billion annually to help advance the quality of care of Medicaid members and provide a stable base for hospitals extending beyond the financial challenges of the pandemic. That same year, the Governor announced that Kentucky hospitals meeting federal quality measures could receive up to $1.1 billion in increased payments the next year to help deliver and expand quality health care to the commonwealth’s Medicaid members.

Gov. Beshear believes that health care is a basic human right and has worked to expand access to care. During his first week in office, the Governor expanded access to critical health care for nearly 100,000 Kentuckians by eliminating governmental roadblocks.

To improve maternal and child health outcomes and increase access to life-saving healthcare services for more Kentuckians, Gov. Beshear expanded Medicaid coverage to a full 12-month postpartum period.

The Governor also relaunched kynect, which offers health coverage options for every Kentuckian. The program was expanded to include many other programs that can help our families in need, including access to food benefits.

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