Rural Kentucky Hospital Care Debate: Should 44% Of Kentuckians Lose Local Medical Care?
How important is it to have medical services available in Kentucky’s most rural areas? That’s the debate currently going on between the federal government and the Kentucky Hospital Association. The former wants to get rid of rural medical services to save on Medicare costs; the latter says that doing so will put approximately 44% of Kentuckians in danger of not receiving crucial medical care where they live.
Is Keeping Kentucky’s Rural Medical Centers Worth The Money?
That’s the question being debated now between the federal government and state and local authorities. Here’s a bit on both sides of the issue according to a recent article in Louisville’s Business First Journal:
- Not Worth The Money. The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) released a report last August seeking to reduce the number of rural hospitals that are currently certified to receive Medicare reimbursements through the federal critical access program – most of which have fewer than 25 beds and are not close enough to larger hospitals.
The bottom line, Have the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) seek the authority to decertify these rural hospitals to cut costs. The DHHS stressed that approximately two-thirds of the hospitals in question technically no longer meet the rural location qualifications.
- Worth The Money. The Louisville-based Kentucky Hospital Association holds an opposing opinion. It recently released a report that shows how important the 29 rural Kentucky hospitals can be in a state in which approximately 44% of people live in rural areas (based on U.S. Census data) who would not only benefit from them in terms of jobs and tax revenue, but which could also save their lives.
The bottom line, Although some of the medical centers may not meet the technical definition of being in a rural location, they are still far enough away from larger hospitals, or in remote, mountainous regions, that they provide Kentuckians with important medical attention.
Wherever you stand on this particular issue, it’s clear that both sides can agree that receiving the proper medical attention, as soon as possible after being involved in an accident, can save your life.
Seeking The Help You Need Comes In Different Forms
Seeking the medical attention you need after being injured in an automobile accident, truck accident, a slip-and-fall injury or any other type of personal injury is always the most important thing to attend to first. However, many injuries result in the need for lengthy or lifelong care that can cause any family to struggle to make ends meet – especially when those injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or other injuries that can result in paralysis.
The average adjusted cost for an inpatient hospital stay in Kentucky is approximately $1,600 according to recent data obtained from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, meaning that a week of treatment would cost $11,200; two weeks of treatment would cost $22,400 and a month of treatment would cost $48,000. These figures don’t take into consideration the costs of specific testing and treatments that may be in addition to the cost of a patient’s stay.
Most people do not have health insurance that will cover 100% of a hospital stay. It’s just not the way the system works for most folks. If yours covers 80%, then you’ll owe nearly $10,000 after a month’s stay. If it only covers 50%, then you’ll owe nearly $25,000 after a month’s stay. Trying to recover medically is hard enough without trying to recover financially.
If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, make sure you get everything you deserve. That’s where an experienced personal injury attorney can help to determine whether someone else’s negligence caused those injuries and whether you and your family might be entitled to compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation, future medical costs and care, lost income, physical and emotional pain and suffering and more.