State Economy Forces Significant Budget Reductions

Wyoming Department of Health Announces Difficult Budget Reductions
August 26, 2020

Due to severe state economic challenges, Governor Gordon has asked all state agencies to prepare significant budget reductions for the 2021-2022 biennium, which began July 1, 2020. Today, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) released 9% reductions, representing just over $89 million in general fund dollars for the coming two-year budget period. As a consequence of the federal funding component to state public health expenditures, this $89 million cut in state general fund includes a forfeit of approximately $49 million in federal matching funds. As a result, the total expected budget reduction is approximately $138 million. The Dept. was able to identify and leverage a host of one-time savings and other revenues as well as temporary increases in federal and other funds that equate to approximately $21.5 million for the coming biennium ultimately reducing the realized total cut to $21.5 million of which $65.41 million originates in state general fund.

These cuts follow and are in addition to the department budget reductions made in 2016 of roughly $143 million in combined state and federal funds. Furthermore, state officials continue to signal that this is only the first round of what could be a series of required budget reductions as a result of the current state economic crisis.

The department’s full 2021-2022 biennium budget reduction plan, is available online. Below, is a top-line summary of reductions WMS perceives to hit physician and PA practices most significantly, but in no way reflects a comprehensive view of the cuts.

Savings/Reductions and Associated Impacts: (State General Funds = SGF, Federal Funds = FF)

  • $750,000 (all SGF)
    • 10% reduction to the Title 25 per diem reimbursement rate
  • $100,000,000 (all SGF)
    • Elimination of funding for Health Innovation Studies provisioned in Senate File 150 (passed in 2019)
  • $22,640,000 (equal parts state general fund and federal fund)
    • 2.5% reduction in most Medicaid provider reimbursement rates
  • $10,510,000 ($3,670,000 SGF, $6,830,000 FF)
    • Reductioon in administrative cost and equalization of reimbursement rates with Medicaid for SCHIP
  • $4,000,000 (equal parts SGF and FF)
    • Implementation of prior authorization on all behavioral health services for children over 30 visits/year
  • $3,440,000 (equal parts SGF and FF)
    • Immediately cap and then end PACE program
  • $3,000,000 (equal parts SGF and FF)
    • Change behavioral health group therapy from 15 minute unites to a per-session unit
  • $1,000,000 (equal parts SGF and FF)
    • Implement mandatory 90-day supply on prescription medications/drugs
  • $500,000 (all SGF)
    • Stop paying for Webchart contract (EHR, Vendor-MIE) on behalf of Public Health
  • $500,000 (equal parts SGF and FF)
    • Reduce Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) per-member-per-month rate from $6 to $3
  • $400,000 (equal parts SGF and FF)
    • Eliminate chiropractic services as a covered Medicaid benefit
  • $100,000 ($10,000 SGF, $90,000 FF)
    • End paying WyFI (statewide HIE) connection fees or reimbursements to providers
  • $790,000 (all SGF)
    • Cuts to contracts for Court Supervised Treatment
  • $140,000 (all SGF)
    • Elimination of Respite Care program
  • $3,500,000 (all SGF)
    • Elimination of WYVIP immunization funding for private providers.
  • $2,750,000 (all SGF)
    • Elimination of the Wyoming Home Services program