St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Hospitals sound warnings about bypassing Medicaid expansion
Missouri currently is one of the top recipients per capita. Hospitals here are slated to receive $784 million in disproportionate share payments in the 2013 budget, Dillon said.
"We’re talking about it being reduced by as much as 50 percent a year," he said. "You’re talking about real cuts."
MO HealthNet oversight committee chair Dr. Corinne Walentik said the cuts could have a significant impact on rural hospitals.
Walentik, a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at St. Louis University, said she worries that as many as 40 to 50 percent of rural hospitals could close if those payments cease with no backup.
"It would probably cost the state more to not take (the Medicaid expansion)," she said. She compared the expansion with a stimulus program that will help rural communities save thousands of jobs that would be lost if hospitals are forced to shutter because of the financial constraints.