"The Affordable Care Act will force the acute care delivery system to evolve to accommodate a new reimbursement reality. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, the non-expansion of Medicaid will have the effect of over-running the emergency departments with non-paying patients. The inevitable cuts and changes will not be popular nor easy to accomplish. However, all will be necessary in order to move this medical center forward into the new Affordable Care Act world." (Emphasis added.)And remember those DSH payments I've mentioned before (here, here, here, here, here, here and here)?
"We know we're going to be cut $8 million by the federal government, and we also know we're going to be cut 2% by Medicaid. That's going to equate to about $8.5 million to $9 million," Price said.
The $8 million refers to the amount of money the hospital receives per year for taking on a disproportionate share of patients who are on Medicare or Medicaid.
DSH stands for "disproportionate share hospital". The DSH program was established to give financial help to hospitals that provide care for an inordinate number of indigent patients. As you can imagine, Mississippi hospitals are pretty dependent upon payments from the DSH program. Under the Affordable Care Act, which is the law of the land regardless of how you feel about it, DSH payments are being severely restricted. Why? Because patients that were causing hospitals to get DSH payments in the past were supposed to be covered by Medicaid expansion. A Medicaid expansion, mind you, funded almost entirely by the federal government, not the state.
So as our Governor and his cohorts in the Legislature keep whistlin' Dixie, our health care system is burning to the ground.