ASSEMBLY, No. 4091


with committee amendments




DATED:  JUNE 2, 2022


      The Assembly Health Committee reports favorably and with committee amendments Assembly Bill No. 4091.

      As amended by the committee, this bill makes the County Option Hospital Fee Pilot Program permanent and expands the definition of “participating county” under the program.  The County Option Hospital Fee Program was established in November 2018 to support local hospitals in designated high-need areas to ensure continued access to critical healthcare services for vulnerable populations.  To effectuate this goal, the program authorizes participating counties, and hospitals within those counties, to partner with the State through a provider assessment mechanism that enhances financial support through the Medicaid program.

      Under existing law, the program is to be a pilot program, expiring five years after each participating county has collected a local health care-related fee, or Fall of 2026.  Under the bill, the program becomes permanent.

      As amended, the bill, while maintaining the existing statutory definition of "participating county" notwithstanding the provisions of any other law or regulation to the contrary, also expands the definition of "participating county" to mean, based on the 2019 ACS 5 Year Survey Data, a county that chooses to participate in the program and contains a municipality with a population greater than 30,000 whose 2020 Municipal Revitalization Index Distress score is greater than or equal to 35, (1) excluding counties with a municipality with a population greater than 125,000, (2) excluding counties with a population less than 150,000, and (3) excluding counties with a median income of $110,000.  Existing law limits the program to certain qualifying seven counties; the bill would expand the qualifying criteria to include additional counties.



      The committee amendments establish the bill’s definition of “participating county” notwithstanding the provisions of any other law or regulation to the contrary.

      The committee amendments further amend P.L.2018, c.136 to remove references to the law’s effective date.

      The committee amendments make various technical changes adding clarifying language and concerning sentence structure.