Whitesburg KY

‘Obamacare’ saves $2M for local ARH

Millions paid to area providers

Whitesburg Appalachian Region Healthcare and other hospitals in eastern Kentucky are benefitting from the state of Kentucky’s participation in the Affordable Care Act through Medicaid expansion, a report shows.

According to the Report on Medicaid Expansion released by the office of Governor Steve Beshear, the cost of uncompensated care at the Whitesburg ARH fell by nearly $2 million dollars in the first three quarters of 2014, down from $2.795 million in the first three quarters of 2013 to $874,203 — a difference of 69 percent.

ARH hospitals in Hazard and Harlan have gotten even bigger saving because of “Obamacare.” ARH’s cost of uncompensated care fell 73 percent at Hazard, a savings of $10.590 million since 2013, while the notfor profit chain saved $3.15 million in uncompensated care costs at Harlan.

Two tables in the report also show how much money was paid to Letcher County hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, primary care centers and other healthcare providers during the first three quarters of 2014 as a result of new patients that weren’t previously covered by Medicaid. One table shows payments totaling $13.383 million, while the other table shows payments of $9.89 million.

“Kentucky’s first year of Medicaid expansion has been transformative, resulting in a number of positive outcomes and also a number of challenges for the Commonwealth and its citizens,” the report says. “In 2014, Medicaid expansion reduced the number of uninsured, generated economic value, created financial benefits for Kentucky’s hospitals and other health care providers, and began to improve the overall health of Kentuckians.”

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