States Move to Keep Healthcare Accessible to Residents

( – Hospitals across the US are struggling for a plethora of reasons, including questionable fees, changes in reimbursement models and decreased populations. Now some states want to save healthcare access for Americans across the country.

The North Carolina Rural Health Research Program found that from 2010 to mid-2019, more than 100 hospitals closed. Rural areas were hit the hardest, leaving millions without critical care. The researchers say that implementing financial distress forecasting and alerting officials to hardships before they force a hospital into bankruptcy may save healthcare for the vulnerable, rural populations.

New Jersey lawmakers are doing something similar. They passed two bipartisan bills that allow the state’s Department of Health to notify lawmakers if a for-profit hospital is in trouble. The law will also require hospitals to disclose financial difficulties.

The law came after an investigation by the Department of Health. The department found $157 million was paid to third-party companies by CarePoint Health. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said: “By requiring these institutions to disclose financial distress and expand their reporting obligations, we will enhance operational transparency and ensure that our communities have access to high-quality, affordable health care.”

Hopefully, North Carolina’s researchers are correct and financial distress forecasting works. If New Jersey is able to prevent its residents from losing vital healthcare services, they may convince other states to follow suit.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!

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