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Senate listening to to delve into hospital disaster

Senate Public Well being Committee Chair Hob Bryan, D-Amory, mentioned nobody is tasked with taking a look at Mississippi’s total well being care system. That’s what he hopes to do in an upcoming assembly of the Public Well being Committee.

Bryan’s Public Well being Committee is slated to fulfill at 1:15 Monday afternoon on the state Capitol to deal with the “monetary disaster of hospitals in Mississippi.”

State Well being Officer Daniel Edney and others have commented on the issues and the attainable closure of a number of hospitals throughout the state.

“This isn’t only a Delta downside,” Bryan mentioned, backing up Edney and others. “It’s an total state downside.”

When requested what hospitals confronted the potential of closure, Bryan didn’t reply instantly, however mentioned each North Mississippi Medical Heart in Tupelo and Forrest Basic Hospital in Hattiesburg “have mentioned they’ll lose tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} … subsequent yr. They will maintain it for some time as a result of they’ve reserves, they usually can do different issues.”

However Bryan mentioned if these two medical facilities – two of the most important hospitals within the state situated in, by Mississippi requirements, prosperous areas – “are saying that, are you able to think about what is occurring in different areas?”

Bryan mentioned many entities within the state are tasked with oversight of elements of the well being care system, however nobody appears to be like on the entire system. He mentioned that’s, partly, what shall be explored throughout his committee listening to.

For example, he mentioned the state Board of Well being develops an total well being care plan. That plan would say there must be a hospital in Greenwood however wouldn’t tackle how to make sure that is the case.

Making certain jail inmates are handled near the place they’re housed would supply a lot wanted income to hospitals in these underserved areas, notably within the Delta, he mentioned. Another choice could be to determine a nursing house for inmates paid for primarily by way of federally funded Medicaid. That nursing house may very well be operated by a hospital, giving the medical middle funds to assist it keep open.

“I do not know if any of that is possible, however I do know nobody is taking a look at it,” he mentioned.

Bryan mentioned there was a long-term downside with Mississippi hospitals, however now there’s an acute or fast downside brought on partly by the COVID-19 pandemic that has pushed up salaries for well being care suppliers, notably nurses.

He mentioned insurance coverage firms and different components are pushing the extra profitable medical procedures away from hospitals whereas leaving the hospitals to carry out the much less profitable procedures. Typically sufferers should journey longer distances to endure the procedures.

Requested whether or not Medicaid growth, offering well being care to 200,000 or extra primarily uninsured Mississippians with primarily federal cash would assist, he mentioned, “In fact … I’ll speak about Medicaid growth ceaselessly, however you understand, what extra are you able to do?”

Bryan was referring to the truth that opposition from lots of the state’s political leaders, primarily Gov. Tate Reeves and Home Speaker Philip Gunn, have blocked efforts to think about Medicaid growth that has been adopted by 39 different states.

The Senate listening to is slated to be livestreamed on Mississippi Legislature’s YouTube web page.

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