Mo Hospitals lose more than $1 Billion in uncompensated costs - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Mo Hospitals lose more than $1 Billion in uncompensated costs

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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

Have you noticed your medical bills going up lately? A new study by the Missouri Hospital Association shows the state's hospitals were shorted more than a billion dollars last year.  The reason is because more people can't afford their bills.  So, guess who's making up for the loss?
The answer is you may be helping to make up for the shortfall.  Officials at Hannibal Regional Hospital said they provided more than $14 million in uncompensated costs last year. And people said they're seeing a rise in the bills. 

"She's been coming for treatment since last March so we've definitely noticed a rise in costs," she said.  
And Fleer said the rise is making things difficult.
"Sometimes you know you're forced to choose food on the table or pay your bill, so they're kind of in that situation right now, and doing the best they can," Fleer said.  
So, why are bills going up for paying customers?Vice President of Strategy Planning for Regional Healthcare System, Julie Leverenz, says the hospital's treating more people who can't afford it.
"We had a significant increase in the number of folks coming into our emergency department who had no ability to pay. And as that percentage increases,  that has a translation in costs associated with care in all dimensions of the Healthcare Delivery System," Leverenz said. 
In fact the hospital reports it provided more than 19,000 emergency services just last year.  While Leverenz said there have been rate increases in particular areas, she said it's tough on the Hospital to provide $14 million in uncompensated costs.  She said healthcare costs would go down if more people led a healthy lifestyle. 
"There are all kinds of things that are individual personal choices that we can make that will have a difference, not only in our own cost of healthcare, but will have a benefit to the entire community," she said. 

Leverenz said a push to expand healthcare assistance in Missouri would help the hospital. 

 


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