Rural hospitals in Kentucky say health reform will hurt them

Though the new national health-care law may increase the number of insured Americans by 32 million, rural hospitals in Kentucky aren’t expecting a revenue windfall. That’s because half of the people who will be newly covered will be Medicaid patients, “who have been big losers for hospitals in cash-strapped states where Medicaid payments do not cover costs,” The New York Times‘ Milt Freudenheim reports.

“We should repeal it all and start over,” said Milton Brooks, administrator of Pineville Community Hospital. “Most hospitals are barely breaking even. When you take a couple of million dollars out of our pocketbooks, we’re gone.” The Kentucky Hospital Association has said the law will cost its hospitals $1.28 billion over 10 years because of “reduced Medicaid payments for more Medicaid patients as well as lower federal payments to make up for losses,” Freudenheim reports. The KHA is not calling for repeal, but is asking for some changes to the law.
Some major national players support the new health care law, including the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and the Association of American Medical Colleges. (Read more)
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