Decision to Not Expand Medicaid Hurts Local Hospitals

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- The Commonwealth's decision not to expand Medicaid is hurting uninsured people and hospitals.

Staff at some local hospitals say they will lose millions of dollars each year without the expansion.

In 2009, Sentara RMH Medical Center provided $15 million in uncompensated care to individuals without insurance and that amount increased to $24 million in 2013.

When the Affordable Care Act was passed, it included federal cuts to hospitals. Those cuts were to be offset by expanding Medicaid.

Cory Davies, the executive director of the RMH Foundation, said even though they've been fortunate so far, it could hurt the hospital in the future.

"The longer that the state delays the expansion of Medicaid, the harder and harder it is and the more difficult decisions we face in how we continue to execute our mission in providing the care our community needs," Davies said.

Leaders at the hospital say the effects could be seen for the next eight years.

Senate Republicans have called for a session in September to talk about the issue and work on a compromise.


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