ObamaCare boosts hospitals' finances, study finds

ObamaCare boosts hospitals' finances, study finds
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Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare is giving a lift to hospitals’ finances, a new study from the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation finds. 

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The study finds hospitals’ charity care costs fell by 40 percent in states that expanded Medicaid, compared to just 6 percent in states that did not. As more people gained coverage through Medicaid, the need for charity care fell. 

Hospital revenue from Medicaid increased 8 percent in expansion states, but actually declined in nonexpansion states, by 9 percent. 

“Expanded health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is having a major impact on many of the nation’s hospitals through increases in the demand for care, increased patient revenues, and lower uncompensated care costs for the uninsured,” the study finds. 

The report measured the changes by looking at Ascension Health, a nonprofit hospital chain that has locations in both expansion and nonexpansion states. 

Twenty-nine states have expanded Medicaid so far, including 10 with Republican governors. Many of those governors have put conservative twists on the program, like requiring people to pay premiums. 

Hospital associations in nonexpansion states like Florida and Texas have been pushing for their states to expand the program. 

The stakes are even higher for hospitals, given that the Obama administration has linked some federal hospital funding to the decision to expand Medicaid.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has sued the Obama administration, arguing it is trying to force him to expand Medicaid.