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Mississippi Legislature to consider rural hospital program during upcoming session

Greenwood Leflore Hospital
Photo courtesy of Greenwood Leflore Hospital

As multiple hospitals in the Magnolia State are on the brink of shutting their doors for good, state leaders have met to explore options that will provide financial relief to the medical facilities in jeopardy.

Greenwood Mayor Carolyn McAdams attended a recent meeting at the State Capitol in which several legislators discussed the future of rural hospitals in Mississippi. One potential solution lawmakers are looking to consider during the upcoming legislative session is allocating more money to hospitals based on a tier system.

“The Mississippi Hospital Group is coming up with a Mississippi hospital access payment program, and that is going to categorize rural hospitals into different tiers. Depending on what tier you are in, you will be able to access a little more money than you would have,” McAdams said on MidDays with Gerard Gibert. “They’re getting an increase to that tier program, if this passes, of about $500,000. So, it will be a big increase to that pool of money that has been accessed before.”

Despite the tier program being considered by lawmakers, hospitals like Greenwood Leflore will still need to consider other options to help stay afloat.

RELATED: 6 Mississippi hospitals face possible closure by end of summer 2023

With 80 percent of GLH’s patients not paying for their healthcare services, the hospital is able to access federal money through the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital program, which reimburses qualifying systems for the unpaid bills of uninsured patients or Medicaid recipients. This program has acted as a bandaid for GLH, but it is not a viable, long-term solution, according to McAdams.

“We are struggling, but we are working through it. We have two consultants that are on it — who are looking at avenues we can take — and we’re doing that. We’re doing everything to maintain what we have, but it’s going to be greatly reduced because we can’t have a 220-bed hospital any longer and survive with the expenses,” McAdams continued. “We’re going to have to reduce all of that, and how that’s going to come about right now, I don’t know.”

The full interview with McAdams can be watched below.

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