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House Committee OKs Hospital Provider Fee (Feb 17, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A bill that would impose a fee on hospital revenue in order to generate about $335 million for the state's Medicaid system has cleared its first hurdle in the Oklahoma House.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Health voted 10-0 on Thursday for the measure, which was sponsored by Republican state Rep. Doug Cox, an emergency room physician from Grove.

The bill would impose a 2 percent fee on a hospital's net revenue, which is expected to generate about $105 million. That money would then be used to draw about $220 million in federal matching funds.

Cox says without it, hospitals will continue to lose money treating Medicaid patients and ultimately be forced to close their doors. The bill is supported by the Oklahoma Hospitals Association.

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