Colorado Medicaid Is on Life Support

June 2010
Some $38 million in Medicaid reimbursement payments to health clinics are being delayed until next month, as the state pushes its budget problems into the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1 (via Fox 31). Affected by the state's money shortage are doctors and clinics that take care of Colorado's neediest patients, as the state has declared a fiscal emergency, legally holding up Medicaid payments to health-care providers, reports The Denver Post. State officials plan to be back on track by July 9, but some clinics, which learned of the freeze only last week, are scrambling to adjust. Several years ago, when a similar delay occurred, Rocky Mountain Youth Clinic, where 75 percent of the 55,000 patients use Medicaid, was forced to withhold paychecks and borrow from a bank to pay staffers. This time, the clinic is relying on donations to keep the checks flowing. The state is not insolvent, but it has hit the lower limit for the amount of cash reserves it must maintain by law, in part because of an increase in unpaid income taxes by both individuals and businesses. "We don't have the revenue in hand that we had budgeted to," says state Senator Moe Keller, a Wheat Ridge Democrat.