Change of ACA plans could hurt Mississippi’s rural hospitals

Last week, the U.S. Senate GOP effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed.

Related: Skinny repeal of Obamacare fails in the Senate

While many Mississippi lawmakers wanted to see the plan repealed, it could have been costly to Mississippi rural hospitals to do so, according to Mississippi Hospital Association President and CEO Timothy Moore.

“What’s happening on a national level is detrimental to those small rural hospitals,” said Moore. “You get a new model and system in place…and then all of a sudden we change it, it is an enormous cost to the hospitals and providers to adapt to a new model.”

Moore said change can happen without a complete overhaul.

“Everything with the ACA was not terrible,” said Moore. “Let’s get the right people at the table, come up with a compromise… and fix what is broken.”

Mississippi rural hospitals are already struggling, and to have to overhaul them with a completely new model would endanger their existence even more.

“You have to go in there and hardwire each hospital again.. and it’s just so expensive,” said Moore.

Part of the problem is that there is so much that has to be fixed.

“We’re trying to help,” said Moore. “And some of the Republicans have stepped up and said ‘help us identify those things that are regulatory issues that are expensive, and we can help get them fixed.”

Moore said often times, regulations that are in place for protection actually end up being a major expense when an issue arises that needs to be fixed.

“It’s going to cost to undo them,” said Moore. “And they never think about that, or they never bring it up.”