Rural Hospital Battle is Being Lost: What that Means for Work Comp

Back in April, I wrote an article discussing the issue of hospital closures due to the failure of many states to expand Medicaid.

Tom Jensen, Partner at Emerald A/R Systems, LLC, in the Phoenix, AZ area, wrote an article today, “Are we losing the Rural Hospital Battle?

According to Tom, a report from IVantage Health Analytics, a leading advisory and business analytic company, stated that 283 rural hospitals across the US are on the verge of closing.

These closings affect hospitals in 39 states. IVantage’s report indicated that in states that expanded Medicaid, 8.5% of their rural hospitals are vulnerable to closure, and this is compared to 16.5% in states that have not expanded Medicaid.

Tom also said that over 700,000 patients would have to travel much further away from their homes to find medical care that is equivalent to what they get currently.

In addition, over 85,000 workers would lose their jobs if these hospitals were to shut down, and the nation’s GDP would see a $10.6 billion dollar loss.

What does this mean to you?

For medical travel, it represents a golden opportunity, not only for general health care services, but for work-related injuries and illnesses, as many companies are located in rural parts of the US.

For workers’ comp, what difference does it make if a rural injured worker has to fly a few hours to a larger city in the same state or region of the country, or if you put him on a plane and fly him to a medical travel destination, the flight there would be roughly the same flight time as the domestic flight?

We are losing this battle, and the only thing both industries want to do is bury their heads in the sand and ignore the potential business and cost-savings available.

Your choice, but when you need to get an oil pipeline worker in North Dakota to a hospital, it better be in Canada, because that will be the closest one available.

This entry was posted in Hospital Closings, Hospitals, Medicaid Expansion, Medical Tourism, Medical Travel, Workers' Comp, Workers' Compensation and tagged , , , , , , on by .

About Transforming Workers' Comp

Have worked in the Insurance and Risk Management industry for more than thirty years in New York, Florida and Texas in the Claims and Risk Management spheres, primarily in Workers’ Compensation Claims, Auto No-Fault and Property & Casualty Claims Administration and Claims Management. Have experience in Risk and Insurance Business Analysis, Risk Management Information Systems, and Insurance Data Processing and Data Management. Received my Master’s in Health Administration (MHA) degree from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida in December 2011. Received my Master of Arts (MA) degree in American History from New York University, and received my Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Liberal Arts (Political Science/History/Social Sciences) from SUNY Brockport. I have studied World History, Global Politics, and have a strong interest in the future of human civilization in all aspects; economic, political and social. I am looking for new opportunities that will utilize my previous experience and MHA degree. I am available for speaking engagements and am willing to travel. LinkedIn Profile: Resume:

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