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Hospitals Facing Difficult Questions Ahead

The proposed changes to Medicaid and Medicare have many people, and many hospital administrators, concerned.  It is true that Medicare service is primarily used by older Americans.  It would be extremely troubling to have to turn an adult away, denying medical care because of a lack of coverage and an inability to pay out of pocket.  But, imagine if you had to do the same with young children.

According to recent research, the modifications to the CMS services, as currently proposed, would have a drastic impact on the children of this nation.  In some states, as many as 50% of the children living in rural environments are covered by Medicaid services.  Without that form of healthcare, the parents of these children would likely be unable to afford to cost of healthcare.

Children are notoriously sick, particularly when very young.  The exposure to bacteria and viruses that their little bodies haven’t built up an immunity to makes them prone to many illnesses.  Ear infections, strep throat, colds, flu, RSV, pneumonia, bronchitis, and so much more can plague children.  Without the appropriate care provided by medical facilities and hospitals, these common illnesses could have much more serious and tragic outcomes.

Hospitals must start planning now to figure out what policies will be enacted to contend with the double-edged sword that they could soon face.  Turning patients away goes against everything healthcare professionals stand for.  Yet, when those services are being rendered with no expectation of receiving the appropriate payments, it could ultimately doom the hospital.  We’ve seen hospitals go under because of significant financial complications in this nation.  It can- and does happen.

In addition to carefully walking through policy and procedure, hospitals will undoubtedly feel even more pressure to ensure that all CMS documentation is filled out appropriately, so they do receive payment for those patients still covered by the updated Medicare and Medicaid services.

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