Not Expanding Medicaid Leads to Layoffs
A lack of Medicaid Expansion by some states as authorized by the Medicaid Expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act are being blamed for the lay off of approximately 200 to 300 employees. This is across a network of hospitals and clinics located in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma managed by Mercy Health. Of the four states experiencing Mercy layoffs, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma decided not to expand Medicaid, leaving 100,000, 253,000 and 123,000 of their low-income residents uninsured, respectively.
Mercy Health is the sixth-largest Catholic health care system in the U.S., and also the nation’s 20th-largest nonprofit health care system. Mercy operates 33 acute-care hospitals and nearly 700 clinic and outpatient facilities and employs 40,000 employees across the four states listed above.The layoff are expected to go into effect at the end of June, other factors leading to this lay off includes lower rates of inpatient service use and reimbursement reduction.
“Like all health care providers, Mercy is managing the impact of market changes, including reimbursement reductions from government and commercial payers, lack of Medicaid expansion in most of the states we serve and declining inpatient utilization,” Mercy Health spokeswoman Barb Meyer said in a statement on Wednesday. “We have been expecting and preparing for these changes for several years and have made tremendous progress in redesigning the health delivery system to meet evolving needs.”
As of this summer 24 states have opted out of the Medicaid expansion, refusing to extend coverage to Americans making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. As a result, these states have forfeited billions of dollars in federal funding.