(The Center Square) — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is sending more than $300 million to help Georgia bolster health programs at the Grady and Augusta University health systems.
The money will support Georgia’s Advancing Innovation to Deliver Equity program. Under the initiative, the two health systems will see higher Medicaid payment rates on services provided through Georgia’s managed care program.
State officials said the influx of federal dollars would free up more than $100 million in Disproportionate Share Hospital funding the state can redirect to other eligible hospitals.
“This approval marks a significant milestone for Georgia Medicaid because it targets new funding directly toward achieving improvement in health outcomes and equity,” Caylee Noggle, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health, said in an announcement.
According to a news release, DCH has requests for similar directed payment programs for teaching and private hospitals pending with CMS. State officials said they are also planning to submit an amendment to a state plan to reallocate DSH funds to small, rural hospitals.
Grady Memorial Hospital is Georgia’s largest single provider of Medicaid services, while Augusta University Medical Center is a state-owned academic medical center. With the additional money, the two health systems will focus on addressing “health disparities related to chronic conditions, preventive care, and women’s and children’s health,” Noggle said.
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor