Category: Health Care
It’s increasingly difficult for rural hospitals to make ends meet. Many have had to freeze or cut salaries, said Danne Howard, chief policy officer with the Alabama Hospital Association. Some have eliminated services, like obstetrics and gynecology. Howard said others partner with outside groups or bigger health systems to take some of the financial pressure off.
“It’s clear to see that we’ve got a number of hospitals that may not survive in the current financial environment,” she said.
In the past decade, seven rural hospitals have closed in Alabama, and of those that remain, 88% operate in the red.
But Howard said Medicare is throwing the state a lifeline. The federal health insurance program, primarily for senior citizens, recently approved a plan to start paying rural hospitals a little more money. Read more.
Jefferson County Commissioners learned during their committee meeting Monday that the county is on the hook for more than $1 million in back payments for Medicare and Medicaid that was overpaid when Cooper Green was a hospital.
The situation was uncovered as the result of an audit ordered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. The problem dates back to 2008. Read more.