FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) – Gov. Andy Beshear was joined by health care leaders and lawmakers today in the Capitol Rotunda for a bill-signing ceremony honoring the passage of legislation that expands health care services for Kentuckians.

The measure, House Bill 75, also supports Kentucky’s hospitals by boosting Medicaid payment rates for outpatient procedures performed at hospitals.

The law is expected to provide needed budgetary support for hospitals, especially the state’s rural health care facilities.

“More than any other entity, Kentucky’s hospitals have felt the strain of increased demand on resources and services as we’ve dealt with the impacts of a global pandemic over the past three years as well as devastating weather events,” said Beshear. “We must do everything we can to support our hospitals and ensure they are equipped to provide the services and care needed in their communities. I am thrilled to sign HB 75 into law, ensuring that our hospitals, especially our rural providers, can continue to improve health outcomes for all our Kentucky families.”

“HB 75 is aimed at improving access to quality health care to each and every Kentuckian as well as serving as a lifeline to rural hospitals serving communities throughout our commonwealth,” said Rep. Brandon Reed of Hodgenville. “With HB 75 now granting access to hospitals to be reimbursed for outpatient services, hospitals will be able to harness federal resources while using those state funds. This measure simply builds on legislation we approved in 2019 with Rep. Bam Carney, and 2021 with HB 183. I thank the Kentucky Hospital Association, which once again trusted me with their legislation, and my primary co-sponsor, Dr. Danny Bentley, for his help and guidance through this process. Thank you to the many co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle and thank you to our governor for your approval.”

The new law, which was supported by the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA), requires the state’s Department for Medicaid Services to assess outpatient services and provide additional payments to hospitals to reduce payment gaps between Medicaid reimbursement and what would be paid by private health insurance.

The measure also allows Medicaid to create a hospital rate increase program for individuals enrolled in its fee-for-service program to pay up to the upper payment limit of the federal Medicare program.

The legislation is retroactive to Jan. 1.