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Rural hospitals brace for damage from ACA repeal

posted Wed, Jan 11, 2017

Kaiser Health News reports that, "in the wake of this fall’s presidential election,...many ...rural hospitals will likely face new financial challenges that will intensify longstanding struggles, experts say. The Affordable Care Act, which President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to repeal, threw a number of life-savers to these vital but financially troubled centers. And its full repeal, without a comparable and viable replacement, could signal their death knell. The health care law expanded Medicaid to tens of thousands of previously uninsured patients, providing new revenue streams for rural hospitals, which often serve a poorer, sicker patient population. The law also created a program that allowed some of these facilities to buy prescription drugs at a discount. “All these rural hospitals are operating on thin margins. The removal of any income source or coverage, or expansion of bad debt, is going to create significant financial hardship,” said Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association.

 

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