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Mississippi Today: Reeves’ Refusal to Expand Medicaid Leaves Mississippi Hospitals at Risk

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Mississippi Today: Reeves’ Refusal to Expand Medicaid Leaves Mississippi Hospitals at Risk

A new report from Mississippi Today highlights how GOP Gov. Tate Reeves and Mississippi Republicans’ failure to expand Medicaid is not only costing the state’s hospitals millions of dollars in much-needed assistance, but leaving many of the hospitals at high risk of immediate closure as well.

The report notes that a third of Mississippi’s rural hospitals are at risk of closing with 20 at risk of closing immediately, posing a direct threat to the health and well-being of the state’s most vulnerable citizens. In all, a quarter of the state’s rural hospitals could close within three years.

“Medicaid expansion would bring an influx of millions to Mississippi’s struggling hospitals,” Mississippi Today reports. “Though a majority of Mississippians support Medicaid expansion, Republican state leadership has adamantly opposed the idea and blocked serious debate about it.”

Read key excerpts from the article below:

  • When rural hospitals close, it can be disastrous to their communities. Residents are forced to drive longer distances for what is sometimes life-changing care. It’s a thorny situation in a state with already some of the country’s worst health outcomes.
  • Harold Miller CEO of Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform said “Many of these hospitals could be forced to close in the near future if they don’t receive payments that are adequate to cover their costs,”
  • More than half of Mississippi’s rural hospitals are losing money serving patients, according to the report.
  • Many of the state’s hospitals were already financially vulnerable, and during the pandemic, the cost to run hospitals went up — supplies and labor became more expensive, but hospital profit did not increase.

Read the full coverage here.