Medicaid work requirements will decrease health center revenue: Study

An analysis from the Milken Institute School of Public Health indicates that more than 100,000 people could lose their Medicaid coverage as a result of new eligibility requirements.

Seven states are looking to pilot Medicaid work requirement programs, which would require residents receiving coverage through community health centers to work a certain number of hours a month to be eligible for Medicaid. The programs could disqualify between 120,000 and 169,000 patients from receiving Medicaid, according to the Milken analysis, which was released last week.

Researchers in the Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative – a research initiative focused on community health centers – estimate that declining Medicaid enrollment could result in health center revenue losses between $89 and $125 million in the first experimental year, according to the release.

Kentucky’s and Michigan’s community health centers would be the most affected, losing an estimated $75 million in Medicaid revenue and cutting 644 full-time jobs, the analysis found.

“This study shows how allowing states to build poorly designed and needless barriers to Medicaid coverage can hurt not only individuals but entire community health systems,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy and an author of the report.

The report also states that high revenue loss can decrease community health centers’ patient care capacity between 104,000 and 147,000 patients and reduce the overall number of health center staffers by between 815 and 1,145 staffers, according to the release.

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