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Reuters Reports on Medicaid Expansion vs. Non-Expansion States

In a recent article, Reuters compared a hospital that accepted the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to one that declined to examine the various ways states are faring under the ACA.

According to Reuters, Chicago’s Cook County Health & Hospitals System in Illinois, a state that accepted federal money to expand Medicaid, recently made its first profit in 180 years. Conversely, Grady Health System in Atlanta, Georgia, a state that refused Medicaid expansion, has not seen an improvement in its financial outlook and remains dependent on philanthropy and county funding. Although these are just two examples of many, the article uses them to illustrate how the ACA’s effects on hospitals varies from state to state.

Reuters cites Jim LeBuhn, senior director at Fitch Ratings, to suggest that public hospitals in states that didn’t expand Medicaid and rely on bond markets for funding are going to experience increasing financial pressure going forward.

“Providers in these states are going to be at a disadvantage,” the news outlet quotes LeBun. “It’s going to make it that much more challenging for these providers to maintain their financial profiles.”

The article also cites Kaiser statistics when pointing out that nonprofit hospitals in the 30 states that expanded Medicaid reported on average 13% less bad debt from unpaid bills in 2014 while hospitals in non-expansion states experienced an increase in bad debt during the year.

For a more detailed look at how Medicaid expansion states compare to non-expansion states see The Capital Issue article “Diverging Paths: Medicaid Expansion vs. Non-Expansion States.”

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