HHS finalizes FMAP matching rates for Medicaid programs

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HHS awards more than $13 million to help lessen nursing shortage
HHS awards more than $13 million to help lessen nursing shortage

The Department of Health and Human Services on Monday finalized the adjusted federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) matching rates for state Medicaid programs for the third and fourth quarters of fiscal year 2009.

A higher federal matching rate was made available to states under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Under ARRA, each state would receive a 6.2% bump in its FMAP, with additional funding made available depending on that state's unemployment rate. The Federal Register notice finalizes those new rates. The increased FMAP rates apply during a “recession adjustment period” that began Oct 1, 2008, and will end Dec 31, 2010, according to the Federal Register. A recently released study from the American Health Care Association found that states have been using extra funding from the stimulus package to fill their deficit holes instead of increasing reimbursement to nursing homes.

In other federal spending news, congressional negotiators Tuesday settled on a FY 2010 omnibus spending package, which includes funding for HHS. Among the spending programs are $244 million for nurse training and $498 million for the health professionals workforce program. Both chambers of Congress must now approve the spending package.


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