Community and safety-net hospitals in Massachusetts need help. They provide vital care for many low-income residents, and their finances are disproportionately dependent on Medicaid reimbursements. But the per-patient payments they receive are far lower than those paid to larger academic hospitals.
State Senate budgeteers have proposed a smart way to help. They want to use a distressed-hospitals fund created in last year’s health care cost-control legislation to bump up the Medicaid rates for 28 hospitals that care for a disproportionate share of poor patients.