Hospitals could lose millions of dollars for low-income care

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia Hospital Association official says the state’s hospitals stand to lose up to $15 million toward treating low-income patients if federal cuts to a Medicaid program remain in place.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the first level of cuts is estimated at $12 million to $15 million. Joe Letnaunchyn, president and CEO of the West Virginia Hospital Association, says the reduction would impact all West Virginia hospitals, not just those in rural areas.

The cuts would amount to a 15 percent reduction in federal reimbursements for “safety net” hospitals that treat a disproportionate percentage of Medicaid or uninsured patients regardless of their ability to pay for care.

Although the state’s public hospitals will potentially shoulder more of a burden in treating indigent patients, Letnaunchyn says the reductions will not impact the care that patients receive.

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