Medicaid is the second largest payer in the US, with spending approaching three-quarters of a trillion dollars this year.
In 2023, workers’ comp medical spend will be around $32 billion – just over 4% of Medicaid.
Medicaid is a major payer for many facilities in poor and rural areas, a financial lifeline that is thin indeed.
Ten states have yet to expand Medicaid, an ethically- and financially-unconscionable failure that has major repercussions for workers’ comp, poverty, child health and healthcare access (two – SD and NC – are in the expansion process).
Access to care
Most rural areas in those 11 states were already hospital deserts; that will get a lot worse as over a third of rural hospitals are in those eleven states.
Average operating margins, razor thin before COVID, recovered somewhat during the pandemic but will turn negative as the pending Medicaid disenrollment takes effect.
More hospitals and their emergency and trauma units will close. Today in 40% of US counties most patients are more than an hour away from a trauma center…as more rural hospitals close even more trauma patients will be further away from hospitals.
What’s known as the “golden hour” is the first 60 minutes after an injury, when healthcare can save lives, limbs, and livelihoods.
What does this mean for you?
Claim severity will increase in those ten states.
note – reminder, Saturday is April 1…beware.
4 thoughts on “Medicaid, workers’ comp claim severity, and healthcare deserts”
Thanks for being ahead of the curve on yet another big issue, Joe. As a former resident of multiple rural counties in California, this issue hits close to home. Here’s just one example, punctuated by some great reporting from the team at Cal Matters: https://calmatters.org/health/2023/01/hospital-closure/
thanks Jeff – that’s some pretty scary news.
be well Joe
Already looking forward to April 1. The plausibility of your post is always the best part.
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