Hospitals Worried About Impact of Insurance Exchanges

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 12:00 am  

Since 2012, Northwest Health System of Springdale’s three hospitals have seen “significant cuts to hospital reimbursement due to Medicare payment reductions as result of the Affordable Care Act, Sequestration and other payment methodology changes,” Northwest Health’s spokeswoman Patricia Driscoll said in an email to Arkansas Business.

She said the system’s three hospitals — Northwest Medical Center-Springdale, Northwest Medical Center-Bentonville and Willow Creek Women’s Hospital in Johnson — are expected to see its total net income fall by $3 million for its fiscal year that ends Oct. 31 as a result of the reductions. For the fiscal year that ended in 2012, the system’s net income was $22.4 million.

Still, the Urban Institute’s Dorn said that he thinks the financial situation for Arkansas hospitals is going to improve. “You have a lot of uninsured people in Arkansas who will be eligible for Medicaid,” he said.

About 250,000 Arkansans will be able to buy private insurance using federal Medicaid money.

“The financial picture in hospitals is about to get a lot brighter … in 2014,” he said.



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