RMH On How Health Care Bill Affects Hospital

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Rockingham Memorial Hospital officials are busy looking at the health care bill to figure out exactly how it'll affect the hospital and community.

Hospital President and CEO Jim Krauss says more community members with insurance will mean less people visiting the emergency room.

"Our expectation is that more patients will seek care in their physician offices rather than the emergency department, which is a good thing because that's a less expensive environment in a primary care physician's office," says Krauss.

It's not just that the emergency room won't be as busy, but more reimbursements will be coming in along with more insured patients.

"While there will be more people on insurance, we're expecting reduced reimbursement from the federal government and state government as well," says Krauss.

Krauss says more insurance also means more trips to the doctors.

"Better access to insurance for patients in our community will mean a higher demand for primary care physicians and other mid-level providers," says Krauss.

President and CEO of the RMH Medical Group Dr. John McGowan says they're working hard to make the area appealing.

"There's a very good possibility the new hospital will help attract physicians," says McGowan.

With new technology, a new facility and a growing area, McGowan says it's important both in doctors offices and the hospitals.

"It's going to be a real challenge to bring physicians to the area, but we have already started and look forward to continued success," says McGowan.

McGowan says he expects a change where patients start engaging with physicians earlier in an attempt to maintain health rather than just treat illness.