Story Archives: Health finances face cuts
|Health finances face cuts|
Cuts in federal reimbursements to health clinics is a looming problem for medical care providers in Franklin Parish.
A decision to stop payments to clinics for treatment of uninsured patients took effect early last month and the medical community is looking for alternatives.
"We are still accepting patients at this time who have Medicaid and cannot afford to pay, said Robert Boullion, acting Chief Executive Officer of Franklin Medical Center.
The hospital, which can still be reimbursed for Medicaid and some indigent patients, is considering actions which could help prevent more financial difficulties.
"We have a decision to make regarding what we can afford to do in the future," he Bullion said.
The change in reimbursement policy is one of several trends causing financial pressure in the medical industry.
According to a survey by the American Hospital Association, fewer people seek medical attention and more of those who do seek help are uninsured or on Medicaid. The downward trend of patients in hospitals also presents economic challenges.
Industry observers speculate there will be increased use of hospital emergency rooms and other emergency services because of funding changes.
Clinics may route their patients through emergency rooms at hospitals, which can then receive federal reimbursement.
Boullion estimates that 5-8 percent of uninsured or Medicaid patients who seek rural healthcare attention will be referred to the Franklin Medical Center emergency room.