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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Kentucky hospitals that meet federal quality standards can receive funding up to $1.1 billion total in increased payments in 2022.

The funding will be made available through state-directed payments to Kentucky’s 1.6 million Medicaid beneficiaries. This money will be targeted towards expanding and improving quality health care to Medicaid members. The state-directed payments are set up for 2022, but they would need to be renewed each subsequent year.

Beshear said the payments are vital to improving Kentucky’s quality of care by ensuring equal access to health care. However, Kentucky state law excludes university hospitals and state mental hospitals from benefitting from these payments.

“Health care is a basic human right, and our people deserve the best care possible,” Beshear said. “This year, our state has faced so much tragedy and heartbreak from the pandemic, tornadoes, and other natural disasters, and we are thankful to our hospitals for continuing to provide quality health care to our Kentucky families in need.”

Eric Friedlander, the Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) noted how this is the second time Beshear has provided additional funding to Kentucky hospitals. In January, Beshear promised an additional $800 million to $1 billion per year to aid with clinical Medicaid care. That money was also dedicated to hospitals financially stressed by COVID-19.

“Medicaid is the largest payer of health care services in our commonwealth and we must continue to think outside the box to bring this program further into the 21st century,” said Medicaid Commissioner Lisa Lee.

For the latest information visit the Kentucky’s Medicaid program website.