Physicians back 3.5 percent 'coverage assessment' on hospitals

Physicians back 3.5 percent 'coverage assessment' on hospitals

March 24th, 2010 by Andy Sher in Local Regional News

NASHVILLE - Tennessee Medical Association officials said today the statewide physicians' group backs the 3.5 percent "coverage assessment" that hospitals have proposed to offset the need to cut TennCare by an estimated $659 million in the 2010-2011 budget.

The assessment would raise an estimated $230 million that would attract an estimated $429 million in federal matching funds. Part of the money would go toward softening a planned 7 percent cut in provider reimbursement fees to hospitals and physicians.

The legislation moved through the Senate General Welfare Committee late this afternoon on an 8-0 vote.

Incoming Tennessee Medical Association President B.W. Ruffner, a Chattanooga physician, said in a news release that "we have heard from physicians all across the state that they had grave concerns over their abilities to remain in the TennCare program if the fees were cut another seven percent while we are seeing more patients enter the program during these tough economic times."

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.