Medicaid reform costs worry hospitals

Although some states are mulling opting out of the Medicaid expansion accompanying the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, hospitals in states that have every intention of participating have their own worries, reported Reuters.

For instance, the New York City Hospital & Health Corporation, the nation's largest public hospital network, projects losses of $2.3 billion between now and 2020, mostly due to the larger volume of Medicaid patients it expects to treat, according to the article.

Although as many as 1.2 million New York City residents are expected to gain Medicaid coverage as a result of the ACA, another 500,000 undocumented residents are not eligible to participate. Partly as a result, the system is projected to have a $1 billion deficit by 2016, Reuters noted

Meanwhile, in neighboring Connecticut, one of the wealthiest states in the nation, the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) expects losses on Medicaid patients to mount, reported the Norwalk Citizen. The state's hospitals already lose $400 million a year on caring for 575,000 enrollees--a number expected to expand to 700,000 under ACA.

"If the program expands to 700,000 and none of the new funds go to reimburse providers, Medicaid losses are forecasted for hospitals in excess of $750 million a year," CHA Vice President Stephen Frayne told the Citizen.

For more:
- read the Reuters article
- read the Norwalk Citizen article