Medicaid Expansion Benefits Rural Hospital Margins

From HealthLeaders:

The Medicaid margins could be even more important for smaller rural hospitals.

“Those hospitals are probably at more financial risk in general than larger hospitals,” Blavin says. “They tend to face a lot more challenges than larger hospitals or metro hospitals. They tend to have a larger percentage of uninsured populations. So, really having them see a large change in their payer mix, in terms of a change from uninsured to Medicaid covered patients, really helped those kinds of hospitals that were at risk prior to the ACA.”

Urban Institute had initially intended to use its updated report as a response to the AHCA’s provisions to repeal the Medicaid expansion, but the AHCA bill died a quick death, and Blavin says Urban Institute revised its focus.

“Originally the findings were the same, but the framing of the analysis was a little different. It was more framed in terms of what would be the implications if the ACA were to be repealed and potentially replaced that could weaken the Medicaid expansion,” Blavin says.

“The focus of this study is more on ‘OK. Now that the ACA is for now intact, what are the implications for states in terms of moving forward with the Medicaid expansion?'”

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