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Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Safety Net Hospitals Seeing More Paying Patients

continued...

“It’s been a big financial help,” said Chief Financial Officer Leif Murphy, noting the reduction will help offset the health law’s Medicare funding cuts.

Converting patients from no cash to some cash “is a good thing,” said Sheryl Skolnick, a hospital analyst with CRT Capital Group in Stamford, Conn.

Skolnick said not every hospital will make up their Medicare and Medicaid funding cuts by seeing more insured patients, particularly in states that did not expand Medicaid.

For HCA and Tenet – both of which own hospitals in Florida, Texas and other states that did not expand Medicaid -- that could mean trouble.

But for those experiencing it, the strong early drop in uninsured patients is a welcome development.

“It’s pretty incredible,” Chayet said about Harborview’s eye-popping decline to 2 percent uninsured patients. 

“It’s even hard for us to say it.”

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Fri, May 23 2014

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