Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Indiana hospitals at 'breaking point' as new legislative panel prepares to examine Medicaid

The sign outside an emergency room reads "Emergency" and has height clearance markers for vehicles.
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
IPB News
Indiana Hospital Association President Brian Tabor said the state needs to "rebalance" its partnership with hospitals when it comes to funding.

The Indiana Hospital Association said hospitals are at a financial “breaking point” as state lawmakers begin a deep dive into Medicaid funding.

The new state budget improved the Medicaid reimbursement rates for physicians this year. But IHA President Brian Tabor said hospitals now need more support from the state.

“As the burden on hospitals continues to grow, to fund our very low base rates that haven't been raised in 30 years, as we fund more and more people that are on the Healthy Indiana program,” Tabor said. “And so my concern is that we will not have hospitals and services for Medicaid patients.”

Tabor said the state could reduce a surtax it charges hospitals to help pay for Medicaid. The proposed House Republican budget did that earlier this year, but the final budget didn’t include any reduction, so it’s likely some lawmakers will still balk.

READ MORE: Indiana hospitals are in the red, and they don’t agree with lawmakers on how to cut costs

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.

Tabor said Indiana should also explore what other states have done to leverage more federal funding for Medicaid.

“So, the state of Kentucky, for example, they have just raised their Medicaid rates for their hospitals over Medicare,” Tabor said. “So hospitals there now are actually getting more than a government payment.”

Tabor said he welcomes the new Medicaid Oversight Committee, which was created to do a deep dive into the program as lawmakers fret over increasing costs.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.