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Your Opinion: Local hospital leaders tout Medicaid reform

Your Opinion: Local hospital leaders tout Medicaid reform

May 5th, 2013 by Ed Farnsworth, president, Capital Region Medical Center, and Brent VanConia, president, St. Mary’s Health Center in News

Dear Editor:

Recently, we joined thousands of Missourians at a rally at the Capitol in support of the Legislature passing Medicaid reform this year.

Our elected officials have less than a month to accomplish their work, and this effort is essential to the health and economic vitality of Jefferson City and the state. As we stood in the halls of the Capitol, we realized that Missourians truly care about this issue.

Medicaid reform will be good for the state. It will boost the economy, reduce the shifting of costs to businesses and insured individuals, and help as many as 300,000 Missourians get care when they need it in the most efficient way.

In the absence of any action by the lawmakers, rural and urban hospitals much like Capital Region Medical Center and St. Mary's Health Center will experience cuts having a profound negative impact on both hospitals. Federal reductions in payments to Missouri hospitals will total $4 billion from 2014 to 2020, and to bring that down to the local level it will mean an average annual reduction in federal payments to St. Mary's of $5 million and even more to Capital Region.

Medicaid transformation was intended to replace at least some of these cuts in federal payments. Please join us in asking our elected officials to take time in the remaining weeks of this session to make Medicaid transformation a major focus. It's that important.