Healthcare Access and Stabilization Program – Resources

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Many of our state’s hospitals and health systems are facing unparalleled financial and operational strain because of inflated costs for labor and supplies on top of impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. While Provider Relief Funds partially offset cost increases in providing care, many hospitals are using operating cash and reserves to continue to care for patients and communities. Hospitals are experiencing frequent claim issues with Medicaid’s Prepaid Health Plans and were hit unexpectedly with a $200 million tax increase by the state in 2021. Furthermore, NC hospitals are paid $2.3 billion under cost for safety-net services for low-income patients. 

Hospitals and health systems in 10 states are withstanding increasing financial pressures by receiving enhanced Medicaid reimbursement at the average commercial rate (ACR) through a Directed Payment Program (DPP) allowable by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Five additional states are pending approval. 

North Carolina hospitals and health systems have the opportunity to receive up to $1.8 billion in federal dollars to improve access to care for Medicaid patients. The Healthcare Access and Stabilization Program (HASP) will cost nothing to the state and provide the NC General Fund up to $60 million as long as the program is approved by CMS. Below are materials to help your institution to prepare for conversations with legislators. 


Contact your elected officials.


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