Nebraska hospitals enter the new world of federal health care hopeful, but cautious. Brent Martin reports. . .
Half of the patients treated by Nebraska hospitals pay through Medicare...20-percent through Medicaid...leaving only 30-percent paying through private insurance.
Though the federal healthcare law will expand coverage, it also will pinch reimbursement to providers, primarily hospitals.
Bruce Rieker with the Nebraska Hospital Associations tells lawmakers a deal struck in Washington will reduce Medicare reimbursements to hospitals by 155(B)Billion dollars. . .
Bruce Rieker, Vice President Advocacy, Nebraska Hospital Association;
Another problem for hospitals...bad debt is on the rise as those with private insurance are unable or unwilling to pay their deductibles.
Nebraska hospitals have seen an increase in the amount of uncompensated care they have been giving.
The Nebraska Hospital Association's Bruce Rieker says Medicaid and Medicare has been reimbursing less and less. And, now, bad debt is on the rise.
Bad debt rose by 35-Million dollars between 2008 and 2010.
Rieker says Nebraska's 89 hospitals receive roughly 4-point-9(B)Billion dollars in net revenue annually, with 20-percent of the care they provide uncompensated.
Nebraska's hospitals enter the new world created by the federal health care law with some concern.
Bruce Rieker with the Nebraska Hospital Association says Medicare and Medicaid will provide less reimbursement under the law, motivating fewer doctors to accept Medicare and Medicaid patients. . .
Patients with private insurance have caused some financial burdens as well. Rieker says the amount of bad debt hospitals have to write off has increased as patients with private insurance fail to pay their deductibles.
Medicaid rolls in Nebraska will increase even if the state chooses not to expand Medicaid under provisions of the federal health care law.
Bruce Rieker with the Nebraska Hospital Association says 236-Thousand Nebraskans are not enrolled in Medicaid. That number, according to Rieker, is sure to go up even if the state maintains its current Medicaid program. . .
Rieker estimates that as many as 107-Thousand more Nebraskans will enroll if the state chooses to expand Medicaid.
Rieker projects that the uncompensated care provided by Nebraska hospitals will increase under expanded Medicaid rolls. .
(courtesy of Nebraska Radio Networks)