Rural Hospitals in Crisis: A Chat with Craig Jones, President of the Oklahoma Hospital Association
On this edition of ST, we are joined by Craig Jones, who is President of the Oklahoma Hospital Association. Given the recent cuts in both Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, large cuts in federal reimbursement costs for uninsured patients, as well as ongoing transformations in standards of care, medical technology, and qualitative outcomes, times are tough these days for hospitals, especially rural hospitals. Nationwide, 673 rural hospitals are considered "on the edge" -- and here in Oklahoma, it's estimated that more than three dozen rural hospitals are facing a troubled future. Therefore the Oklahoma Hospital Association has launched a new campaign to convince state officials to accept the federal money associated with Medicaid expansion -- not into an expansion of Medicaid in this state, but into an expansion of Insure Oklahoma, which is an employer-backed, public-private partnership, and which would cover the same population. More about this new campaign can be found online at MakeOKBetter.org.