Cash-Strapped West Virginia May Delay Medicaid Provider Pay

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia officials warn that payments to Medicaid providers may be delayed amid state budget woes.

The Department of Health and Human Resources told providers in a letter Monday.

Cynthia Beane, Bureau for Medical Services acting commissioner, said the state may be unable to pay providers within the same timeframe or level due to the 2016 budget deficit.

The deficit began at $354 million for 2016 and $466 million for 2017.

Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss told lawmakers to prepare for a worse 2016 hole. The 2017 shortfall estimate already increased by $92 million.

The Republican-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin are negotiating tax increases, cuts and using reserves to craft a budget covering the remaining 2017 shortfall of $270 million. The next budget year starts July 1.