|Click on map for larger version|
Charles Beaman, CEO of Palmetto Health, which owns six South Carolina hospitals, "said the dynamics of health care have been altered by the shift by insurance companies to more out-of-pocket expenses, putting more financial burden on the patients. Medicaid’s move to link reimbursements to quality of care, which in the short term often means more expense for hospital improvements" and the decision to not expand Medicaid, Holleman writes.
"Gov. Nikki Haley’s administration increased reimbursement to 19 rural hospitals for uninsured care to lessen the blow of turning down Medicaid expansion," but officials say rural hospitals need more help, Holleman writes. "They don’t necessarily want a full-scare purchase or merger. Instead, they want to band together to get quantity discounts on equipment or to negotiate higher reimbursements from major insurers such as BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. They might combine labs or work out an affiliation with a larger hospital that has specialized, expensive heart care that the smaller hospitals can’t afford to provide." (Read more)