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Governor lauds LB 1087 during Fremont appearance

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Gov. Jim Pillen, seated in center, conducts a ceremonial bill signing on Friday at Methodist Fremont Health. Next to the governor, from left are Brett Richmond, president and CEO of Methodist Fremont Health and state Sen. Mike Jacobson of North Platte. Below: Gov. Pillen delivers his remarks about the legislation. 

Gov. Jim Pillen, state senators, and the Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) conducted a ceremonial bill signing at Methodist Fremont Health to celebrate a new law that will qualify the state’s hospitals for approximately $1 billion of additional federal Medicaid funds each year.

 

“Our state’s hospitals provide outstanding health care to Nebraskans,” the governor said. “I’m grateful to our state senators for passing legislation to maximize the federal resources available to our hospitals. These much-needed funds will strengthen the quality and accessibility of health care statewide.”

Senator Mike Jacobson of North Platte proposed the new legislation (LB 1087), and Senator Christy Armendariz of Omaha prioritized the bill. Senators voted to pass the bill 45-0. Governor Pillen signed LB 1087 into law on March 27.

 

“LB1087 is one of the most impactful and transformative pieces of legislation that we passed this session,” Jacobson said. “This program allows our state to dramatically increase reimbursement rates to hospitals without costing our state general fund any additional dollars. It will have a dramatic impact on reimbursement rates, hospital services, and ultimately on the availability of health care across the state.”

 

With the passage of LB 1087, Nebraska is implementing a funding mechanism to tap into additional federal dollars. Nebraska’s hospitals will pay an assessment to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) of up to six percent of net patient revenues. DHHS will then use money from the assessments as matching dollars to qualify the state’s hospital systems for more federal Medicaid funding.

 

It is estimated that this legislation will provide for nearly $1 billion annually in additional net federal funding to hospitals.

 

“LB1087 will have a positive and significant impact on our hospitals’ finances and will make it possible to continue to provide needed services to Nebraska’s Medicaid population,” NHA President Jeremy Nordquist said. “We’re so very appreciative of the Governor’s support as well as the many state senators who sponsored and advocated for this important legislation.”

 

LB 1087 is anticipated to benefit every single hospital system in Nebraska. Additionally, the bill includes $50 million per year for scholarships to support the development of Nebraska’s nursing workforce. The scholarships will be funded through private investments.

 

“This is a real game-changer for Nebraska and Nebraska hospitals, especially those serving rural communities and a high percentage of Medicaid patients,” said Brett Richmond, President & CEO of Methodist Fremont Health.

 

Since LB 1087 was passed with an emergency clause, it has already taken effect as law.

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