Hospitals Take the Lead in Push for Medicaid Expansion

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media , March 31, 2014

"Our analysis indicates that with more efficient management of enrollees in the current Medicaid program, the state could actually benefit financially from Medicaid reform," said Dillon. "And, this isn't just in the 100-percent years, but enough through the end of the decade that with proper stewardship Missouri could have nearly $700 million in trust for future state health spending requirements."

NH Deputy Insurance Commissioner Alex Feldvebel says Medicaid expansion should bring relief to hospitals in his state that have felt financial pressure from uncompensated care. "This newly eligible population, because of its low income, will consist primarily of uninsured persons. Providers will be better off when a low income patient has coverage rather than no coverage," he said.

But Robert "Bo" Ryall, president and CEO of the Arkansas Hospital Association, says Medicaid expansion is not a panacea for hospitals struggling to adjust to the pace of healthcare reform efforts and the associated financial changes. "Overall, hospital reimbursement has been severely impacted because of Medicare reductions in the Affordable Care Act and sequestration," he said last week. "Medicaid expansion does help hospitals, but in no way comes close to making up for the Medicare reductions."

Christopher Cheney is the senior finance editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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