From an N&R op-ed by Cone Health CEO Tim Rice:
The plan was that states would expand Medicaid coverage to more uninsured people, and hospitals would offset some of their reduced revenue through the increased volume of patients paid for by Medicaid. But North Carolina has not expanded Medicaid coverage, which means Cone Health and others are being paid less while still caring for the nearly 80,000 uninsured in Guilford County alone.
This has had an impact on access to health care in our immediate area. For example, Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine closed a major clinic that provided care for adults and reduced services for infants and children. Our response to the loss of this vital service was to partner with our pediatric teaching service to open Cone Health Center for Children, which will help care for nearly 40,000 uninsured children in our community. We plan to open a facility for adults later this spring. Still, the numbers are daunting. Cone Health provided $245 million last year in care for which we didn’t get paid. That’s nearly $60 million more than the year before. How can we keep that up?
And of course the human costs are even higher than the financial ones.
Greensboro is fortunate to have a strong, locally-controlled health system (disclosure: I am still on its board) and to have had Tim Rice running the show during tumultuous times.
Read the whole article for a sense of the issues facing hospitals -- the two-midnight rule is another tough one -- and some of the local responses to them.