Arkansas Hospitals to Lose $1.5 Billion Due to Healthcare Law

Tax hikes to help out publicly funded hospitals, others may have to raise their prices, and charities that support hospitals might have to ramp their fundraising efforts.

That's how UALR Economist Kyle Ross summed up the ways in which Arkansas hospitals might be able to make up for $1.5 billion in Medicare cuts over the next 10 years---as a result of the Affordable care Act.

The healthcare overhaul that triggered intense partisan fighting goes into effect in 2014.

"Raising more money or raising prices altogether...that can be tough sometimes for hospitals to raise prices on patients that already have private insurance," Ross said.

The Chief Executive Officers for UAMS, St. Vincent, Conway Regional and Baptist Health hospitals were unavailable to speak with KARK on this issue.

Dr. Jonathan Bates, who heads up Arkansas Children's Hospital said: "Well, I certainly think the Medicare reductions is going to be quite a concern for my colleagues in the adult brand of hospitals because that's such a large fraction of their book of business."

Bates said Medicare patients only account for 7 percent of those at ACH.

The new healthcare law, he went on to say, is extremely complicated.

"There are many parts of it we don't know what to make of it," he said.

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