Another state moves closer to bed tax

Share this content:

Members of the Utah House of Representatives have passed a "bed tax" bill by a large margin. The measure would allow facilities to increase billings of private, non-Medicaid residents by up to 6% to allow the state to become eligible for more federal matching funding.

State senators, who earlier passed a similar bill, must still give their approval to the House's amended version before it can be made law.

Analysts pegged the fee surcharge at nearly 3.9% of nursing facilities' gross receipts. The additional $10 million raised would generate about another $26 million in federal matching funding, officials said.

Senate Bill 128, however, is not intended to put the burden solely on private pay residents, lawmakers stressed. They also want facilities to be able to charge more for Medicaid residents, according to a published report.

Medicaid currently pays Utah facilities about $15 per day less than the cost of actual care, according to a recently released study commissioned by the American Health Care Association.