Hardin Memorial Health is receiving a $2.4 million payment as part of a settlement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Gov. Andy Beshear and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week announced $383 million in state and federal money for 54 rural hospitals by settling a 13-year-old dispute regarding Medicaid funding rates.

According to a news release, the settlement negotiated by Beshear, with support from Mc­Con­nell, successfully convinced the federal Centers for Med­icare and Medicaid Services to offer funding in combination with the state’s liability of $93.9 million.

“The funding is much-­need­ed relief to our rural hospitals and health care workers that have been on the frontlines helping to fight the global pandemic,” Beshear said in a news release. “The hard work from our office along with support from Majority Leader McConnell and federal partners has resulted in millions of dollars in savings to the state and immediate payment to our rural hospitals. We expect to be issuing checks as early as next week.”

In response to the settlement, Hardin Mem­or­ial Health released the following statement: “The lawsuit with the state was many years old. Given the extraordinary expenses and revenue losses HMH is experiencing with the pandemic, the timing is excellent. Funding will be used to support the patients that Hardin Memorial Health serves.”

According to the release, this litigation began with an administrative action in 2007 and then the lawsuit in 2013, all involving the rate setting methodology used for acute care hospitals for 2007-15. The hospitals claimed the methodology used by Kentucky Medicaid was invalid, and the Franklin Circuit Court and the Kentucky Court of Appeals agreed. The case is pending before the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Earlier this year, the release said Beshear asked CMS to exercise its authority to dedicate federal Medicaid funds owed to rural hospitals. Following a request from the Beshear administration, McConnell’s office contacted senior officials at CMS and at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reiterating the importance of a quick and positive decision for Kentucky’s rural hospitals.

On April 3, Beshear and McConnell announced the Centers for Med­icare and Medicaid Services approved Ken­tucky’s request to recover Medicaid federal match rates and provide federal funds for a payment.

“In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, I’m proud to work with the Trump Ad­min­istration and Gov. Beshear to deliver urgently needed resources for more than 50 of Kentucky’s rural hospitals,” McConnell said in the release. “As the only congressional leader not from New York or California, I’m constantly working to direct national attention and federal resources to rural America, and especially Kentucky. The medical professionals at our rural hospitals have shown their courage and dedication every day throughout this pandemic, and it’s my privilege to thank and support them.”

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