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Sen. Blackwell explores options to relieve struggling Mississippi hospitals

Greenwood Leflore Hospital
Photo courtesy of Greenwood Leflore Hospital

Looking ahead to the 2023 legislative session, state leaders have been exploring different options to keep struggling Mississippi hospital systems open as they face an economic crisis.

With the cost of essential medical supplies and labor steadily increasing, Senator Kevin Blackwell, R-Southaven, would like to increase the amount of money hospitals receive for their services in order to boost revenue streams that have essentially flatlined.

Additionally, the senator is in favor of the state taking on the $230 million in taxes hospitals will have to pay in 2023 as a form of temporary financial relief. He believes this will give distressed systems a prolonged ability to plan for their future.

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

“We are having discussions with the hospitals and maybe trying to take a look to see how we can increase reimbursement to them. Costs keep going up in healthcare — supplies, employees, particularly for a lot of hospitals on the nursing side — but the reimbursement continues to be level and in some cases, it actually decreases,” Blackwell said on The Gallo Show. “From a personal standpoint, I’d like to see us maybe pick up the tax that the hospitals pay. Do it one time, just one year only.”

Though on the surface, it may appear that picking up hospitals’ taxes would primarily benefit the bigger systems in Mississippi, Blackwell argues that financial relief is in the best interest of every hospital, including rural ones, in the state.

Watch the full interview with Senator Kevin Blackwell below.

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