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Medicaid expansion: Stark contrast between 2 nearby hospitals

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This story about two hospitals — one in Medicaid-expansion Illinois, the other nearby in Missouri, which has not expanded Medicaid — shows starkly how much the  federal money from the Medicaid expansion part of the Affordable Care Act matters to hospitals.

This comes out of a Modern Healthcare magazine’s yearlong analysis of fiscal 2014 finances for hospitals across America  to determine how the ACA’s Medicaid expansion has affected revenue and operating margins. This project is supported by a fellowship from the Association of Healthcare Journalists and the Commonwealth Fund.

This article notes that the “states that have not expanded Medicaid may have the most to lose if the U.S. Supreme Court this month in King v. Burwell strikes down premium subsidies in states using the federal insurance exchange. That likely would cause millions of people to drop their private exchange coverage.  In the hundreds of earnings reports included in Modern Healthcare’s analysis, a number of other themes also emerged: The economy is improving, stronger hospitals are buying weaker ones and hospitals are negotiating better rates from commercial insurers. Those factors are boosting operating margins even without the additional benefit from healthcare reform.”

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