Medicaid payments to hospitals from the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services have resumed after a cash flow problem caused a temporary suspension of the payments in June.
Dennis Strathmann, executive director for finance at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, said the hospital has received a payment of about $240,000 from SRS, which included reimbursements for shortfalls brought on by the Medicaid suspension announced in early June.
Strathmann said the payment suspension did not hurt the operating budget of the hospital because administrators had planned for it. He said the shortfall occurs almost yearly as the state nears the end of its fiscal year. The new fiscal year began July 1.
If the payment suspension occurred earlier, Strathmann said it would have affected hospital operations.
"If the state ran out of money in February, we'd be in trouble," he said.
Medicaid makes payments for medical services for the poor, and is about 8 percent of the LMH budget. About half the money in Medicaid comes from the federal government, and the other half comes from the state, which administers the program.
In the past, the state has failed to make up for shortfalls that occurred near the end of the fiscal year. This year, however, the state made up those shortages in the July payment.
Another 50 percent of the LMH budget comes from Medicare, the federal health care program for people over age 65.
The hospital ran into problems earlier this year because of delays in reimbursement of Medicare, but payments have come in at a quicker rate recently, Strathmann said.