UAMS Chancellor Daniel Rahn told a committee of the Arkansas House this morning that his facility needs funding, saying "We have increasing revenue cost, but no way to offset it."
In his testimony before the House Public Health Committee, Rahn said treating the uninsured costs his hospital 66-million dollars a year and expansion would be a 28-million-dollar benefit to UAMS. "We absorb the cost of uncompensated care. We're just about breaking even right now," Rahn told lawmakers.
Rahn said the greatest impact would be felt by rural hospitals who're also struggling to pay the costs of uncompensated care.
Committee Chair Rep. John Burris (R-Harrison) says what's good for hospitals isn't necessarily good for the people of Arkansas, and they're still exploring options.
"Let's make sure we don't jump in here and pay sticker price for a car, when we're not sure what we're buying. And I think that's how everyone is feeling right now," Burris said.
"We think that's a very important building block to redesign the health care system and will provide better outcomes for all," said Rahn.
Rahn said while Medicaid expansion won't solve all the problems for UAMS, it will help maintain the current level of operations there. He says any system redesign will depend on how things work out with the healthcare payment initiative.