ACA helps some publicly traded hospitals' bottom lines

As many hospitals across the country struggle to keep their doors open and cut back on services, some publicly traded hospitals say the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped them increase their bottom lines, according to a Nashville Business Journal blog post.

Community Health Systems Chief Financial Officer Larry Cash told investors the Tennessee-based organization saw fewer self-pay admissions in states that expended Medicaid under the ACA, and estimated a 4 to 8 percent drop in those admissions over three years, according to the post.

Fewer uninsured admissions means fewer costs to hospitals, which are crucial as budgets tighten and reimbursement contributions shrink. In states that didn't expand Medicaid, hospitals are laying off staff and restricting treatment options.

LifePoint Hospitals and Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), also based in Tennessee, reported similar results. Medicaid admissions increased 29 percent for HCA, compared to just 5.9 percent in states that didn't expand coverage, the Business Journal wrote.

"Increases in Medicaid membership and health insurance exchange participation contributed measurably to our results in the quarter," LifePoint CEO Bill Carpenter said.

The ACA isn't just helping hospitals financially. A recent Department of Health & Human Services report shows hospital-acquired infections and readmissions are down, declines attributed in part to initiatives under the ACA, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the post