Alaska stops Medicaid providers inflation-linked increases

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services will not increase rates for Medicaid providers, citing an underfunded budget.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports that DHSS announced Monday that it filed emergency regulations to freeze rates that customarily rise a percentage point or two every year to account for inflation.

Starting Wednesday, Alaska’s Medicaid program will see a drop of $51.9 million in state funds. Since the federal government matches state expenditures, the total loss of funding for the Medicaid program will be around $100 million.

Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson says Gov. Bill Walker’s proposed budget for the new fiscal year included a $20 million cut to Medicaid, and the Legislature cut an additional $31.9 million.

Freezing inflation-based rate increases will save the state $8 million in its general fund.