The Cost of Rejecting Medicaid Expansion

The 24 states that have chosen not to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act have cost 1.4 million of their residents a source of regular health care, failed to generate an estimated 184,000 jobs through the end of 2015, and lost approximately $88 billion in federal revenue between this year and the end of 2015.

council of economic advisorsThese and other estimates come from the report Missed Opportunities:  The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid, issued last week by the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

The report offers state-by-state projections of the number of people who gained insurance in states that did expand their Medicaid programs in comparison to those in states that did not expand; projected utilization of selected preventive care services by individuals in states that did and did not expand Medicaid; the financial impact of state Medicaid expansion decisions on families; jobs and federal money lost; and more.

The National Association of Urban Hospitals supports Medicaid expansion in all states.

Find the report here.

Safety-Net Hospital Finances Falling Behind Other Hospitals

While most hospitals have recovered from the worst of the recession, safety-net hospitals that were already weak before the recession now find a growing financial gap between themselves and other hospitals.

So reports the new study “Hospital Financial Performance in the Recent Recession and Implications for Institutions That Remain Financially Weak,” which was published in the May edition of Health Affairs.

iStock_000001497717XSmallAccording to a news release about the study,

About 28 percent of the safety-net hospitals were financially weak in 2006.  While their financial performance dipped in 2008, these institutions rebounded by 2011.  However, the financial gap between the safety-net hospitals and the non-safety-net hospitals continues to widen in terms of their total profit. 

The release also notes the implications of this financial struggle:

On the one hand, financially weak and safety-net hospitals continue to keep their doors open.  On the other hand, these institutions remain in precarious financial positions that could compromise their ability to invest in innovations or quality improvement activities that may provide value for patients.

Learn more about the study in this news release or find the study itself here, on the web site of the publication Health Affairs.

NAUH Urges Senate to Protect Urban Safety-Net Hospitals

With the Senate Finance Committee looking for ways to pay for a permanent solution to the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula (SGR) challenge, the National Association of Urban Hospitals has asked the committee’s members to reject any proposal to pay for that solution with further cuts in Medicare and Medicaid payments to private safety-net hospitals.

See NAUH’s message to Senate Finance Committee members here.