Tenncare Won’t Get Money Without Help from Congress

According to Governor Bill Haslam, there only seems to be one option for getting all the federal money owed to Tenncare. But Haslam says the chances aren’t good.

Last week, the state’s health care program the poor announced it won’t get all of the money that was budgeted to come from the federal government. As a result, Tenncare will further cut the rates paid to certain health care providers, like nursing homes and dentists.

Haslam says that as recently as this Spring, officials at the Center for Medicaid and Medicare services agreed with the state that Tennessee is owed the funds in question. Now, he says the agency is telling him their hands are tied.

“What CMS is saying in Washington is, ‘You all will have to get legislation passed that authorizes us to pay you back the money that we owe you.’”

But in the current political environment, Haslam admits convincing Congress to agree to send more money out of Washington is a difficult proposition.

Nina Cardona

Nina Cardona is WPLN's host for All Things Considered. As a reporter, she covers a wide range of assignments with an emphasis on culture, the arts and local history. A graduate of Converse College, she's lived in Middle Tennessee most of her life.
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