The Iowa Hospital Association announced this week that hospitals and other healthcare providers generate one in five jobs in the state. Healthcare accounts for 23-percent of the state product, Iowa’s version of the gross national product, and hospitals employ 67-thousand people. I-H-A president Kirk Norris says the reason for pointing that out is the effect on all their incomes, and the economy of the state, from being last in the nation for Medicare reimbursement. Norris says everytime a beneficiary gets medical care, the hospital gets about seven-percent less than the cost of the care it provided. Norris says Iowa’s last-in-the-nation place in Medicare reimbursement rates is costing hospitals in the state 100-million dollars a year. Norris says that amounts to the federal government not paying its share of medical costs, and he says it comes at the expense of the Iowa economy and hometown businesses.It means jobs, people’s capacity to earn money and then spend their income in their local economies. Norris says the Medicare program’s paying as much as 30-percent too much for care provided in other parts of the country like the Los Angeles and Philadelphia areas, while Iowa is shorted despite the top-quality care its doctors and hospitals provide. The study by the Iowa Hospital Association also found salaries in Iowa’s health care sector equal more than five-point-eight Billion dollars, and add another three-point-seven Billion in pay to the state’s economy.
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