States' Medicaid Decisions Cost Community Health Centers

Community health centers will pay a steep price for states' decisions not to expand Medicaid under the federal health law.

Community health centers will pay a steep price for states’ decisions not to expand Medicaid under the federal health law.

A new study by George Washington University researchers estimates that 518 health centers in the more than two dozen states not expanding Medicaid will lose out on $555 million next year because their uninsured patients won’t get Medicaid or federally subsidized coverage in the new online health insurance marketplaces.

“That is huge,” said Peter Shin, lead author of the study and associate professor of health policy at George Washington University. He said loss of money can affect centers’ ability to hire doctors and other staff, as well as to expand services. He said health centers expect increased patient demand regardless of whether their state expands Medicaid.

The 582 health centers in states expanding Medicaid can expect to gain about $2 billion in funding next year from seeing more patients in line to get coverage, the study said.

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Source: Kaiser Health News