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UMC's emergency room braces for impact of Affordable Care Act

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Updated: 10/04/2013 9:14 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) — Now that more people will have access to insurance, the hospitals are paying close attention, especially how it will impact their emergency rooms.

At University Medical Center, where many uninsured will use, the impact will certainly be felt.

Emergency rooms, like the one at UMC, stay very active.

While it receives very traumatic cases, it also receives patients that use it as their main medical care often because they have very limited income.

Now that they will be required to have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, UMC CEO Brian Brannman says the funding will be shifting

“We've got a portion of our population that was being funded through Clark County social services. Those folks will be shifting to Medicaid and their reimbursement is substantial,” Brannman said.

Brannman says the financial fluctuation that will impact his hospital between 2014 and 2019 is about a $50 million loss.

“We've got to tighten our belts and find additional ways to cut costs but also to ensure that we are providing the most cost effective way of providing care to these folks,” Brannman said.

But he says UMC will make adjustments. But in the meantime, while he can't look into a crystal ball, he expects the traffic at the ER to remain consistent and hopes in time both the medical industry and patients will change their mindset.

“It's changing behavior expectations on both sides. The providers need to be thinking differently in terms of how they address these problems and think ahead before it becomes more acute and people take more responsibility for themselves,” Brannman said.

Brannman says no matter what, UMC will still be receiving the poor whether they can pay their deductibles or not, and will continue seeing the undocumented patients.

Navigators will be at the hospital to help patients with the new insurance requirements.


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