Hospitals Not Getting Paid To Treat Medicaid Patients

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 3/25/2013 10:58 pm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36

Hospitals across Kentucky are in debt, because they aren't being paid for treating Medicaid patients.  The Kentucky Hospital Association estimates hospitals are owed $176 million.

Cynthiana's Harrison Memorial Hospital says it's owed almost $700,000 in Medicaid reimbursements.

CEO Sheila Currans runs the rural non-profit community hospital.  She says the hospital is owed so much money, the hospital dipped into the red.

"It is my hope of course that it never gets to the point that it affects the care that we deliver in this community," said Currans. 

Currans says they will never turn Medicaid patients away, but she says something needs to change. 

Currently, when a medicaid patient comes in hospitals bill what's called a managed care organization.  They operate like an insurance company, but Currans says they aren't paying the bills. 

"We are not unique, and I often remind myself of that.  We are not a unique situation," said Currans.

The hospital says it has regular conversations with the managed care organizations, and nothing ever changes.

"We hear answers like let us look into that.  We rarely get resolution.  On the situations where we have received some resolution, it's been interesting, because a few months later the same problem will crop up again," said Currans.

Currans hopes House Bill-5 will change that.  The legislation would allow hospitals to file complaints with the Department of Insurance instead of the back-logged Cabinet for Health and Family Services. 

The bill passed the house unanimously.  Speaker Stumbo's Office says it's still optimistic the senate will vote on it this session.  The bill went through 2/3 readings. 

In the meantime, Harrison Memorial says it's looking for ways to cut costs so the debt does not compromise its health care.
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