The Memorial Hospital Board updated on federal health care changes |

The Memorial Hospital Board updated on federal health care changes

Scott Schlaufman

During his report Thursday night to The Memorial Hospital Board, Wayne Scholz encouraged board members to consider upcoming changes to the federal health care system.

Scholz, region 9 associate vice president for Quorum Health Resources, spoke briefly on the Affordable Care Act. He said there are specific changes to Medicaid reimbursement to hospitals under Medicare's prospective payment system.

Those changes, he said, do not affect TMH, which operates under a critical access reimbursement system.

The ACA is going to insure 32 million Americans without health insurance, Scholz said, and half of those people are expected to receive Medicare.

"When you think about your community, this is the group of people that use the hospital that use self pay or private pay," Scholz said. "Let's just say for demonstration purposes about half of those patients that come here would now be under Medicaid, which means the hospital would be getting some reimbursement versus maybe they were getting zero before."

Scholz said states are trying to find ways to get Medicare money in their budgets.

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"Even though they're getting matching dollars back from the federal government, the state still has to come up with a chunk of money, which most states are having a problem doing that," he said. "Those major components aren't supposed to happen until 2014."

George Rohrich, TMH chief executive officer, said that according to recent statistics he had heard, Moffat County has approximately 4,000 people without insurance and the ACA will cover almost 3,000 of those with Medicaid.

"With the other programs, we don't know," Rohrich said. "(The state has) just begun discussions about setting up insurance pools this week, but it's a couple of years out."

Scholz noted that health care reform laws have recently been challenged in court and much can happen before 2014 when many of the laws take effect.

"I'm sure there will be a lot more information about this very soon," he said.

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In other news

At its regular meeting Thursday, The Memorial Hospital Board:

• Approved, 6-0, advancing cardiologist Gerald Myers from provisional staff to associate staff, and physician’s assistant Joan Donham from provisional staff to non-physician health care provider staff.

• Approved, 6-0, reappointing John Ossen, of emergency medicine, to active staff, and provisionally appointing David Moore to surgical first assistant.

• Approved, 6-0, re-electing Nadine Daszkiewicz, Jeannie Thornberry, and Alman Nicodemus to group 3 of The Memorial Hospital Foundation Board.

• Approved, 6-0, entering into executive session.

— Board member Don Cook was absent.