RESPOND TO DISCUSSION 150 WORDS:
John H Stroger Hospital of Cook County, located in Chicago, Illinois, is a public hospital and an example of one of the hospitals that offer a high percentage of uncompensated care that has one of the busiest ERs in Illinois. Thus, it receives a lot of patients daily who are in dire need of medical help; unfortunately, some patients cannot afford the healthcare costs and cannot be turned away. The main effect is that the hospital has suffered financial constraints. In 2018 John H Stroger Hospital spent 54.4% of its $97 million on uncompensated care, and in 2020 spent $713,000 (“NPR Cookie Consent and Choices,” 2022). The hospital continues receiving multiple patients but cannot support the cost of handling these patients. For instance, there is burnout of hospital staff. They are underpaid, understaffed, and can hardly afford the necessary equipment to accommodate all patients. This puts the Cook County government pressured as the hospital requires funds it cannot afford, and in return, there is a risk that patients will not receive quality care.
The Affordable Care Act may not solve the issue of financial constraints caused by uncompensated care in healthcare facilities because ACA enables lower costs for quality healthcare and increased insurance for individuals. Therefore, lowering the costs means that the hospitals still offer uncompensated care, and the funds from other patients who are insured or pay cash do not cover those treated under uncompensated care. Additionally, medical insurance companies negotiate costs to pay to hospitals and end up paying less. Eventually, the hospital’s financials can hardly afford to provide quality healthcare for its patients while keeping afloat.
Beherec, S. (2015). Uncompensated care: Weighing private option boost, medicare cuts. Arkansas Business, 32(31), 1.
NewsCAP: Medicaid expansion may reduce uncompensated care costs for hospitals. (2016). AJN, American Journal of Nursing, 116(9), 15-15. doi:10.1097/01.NAJ.0000494677.92970.ce
NPR Cookie Consent and Choices. Npr.org. (2022). Retrieved 14 June 2022, from https://www.npr.org/local/309/2020/03/12/814937832/treating-uninsured-patients-is-wreaking-havoc-on-cook-county-finances.