In the wake of this week’s passage of a new Medicare bill, Iowa hospitals are getting the rundown on how much money it will mean for them. While the state remains 50th in medicare reimbursements, the Iowa Hospital Association’s Scott McIntyre says the new bill brings a big improvement. He says they’re happy to see the gap narrow between what Iowa hospitals receive for taking care of Medicare patients, and what it actually costs them. In recent years, that gap has meant hospitals in the state lose an average hundred Million dollars, the difference between the value of care they provide Medicare patients and what the program pays for that care. The IHA estimates that the new provision will reduce that hundred-million-dollar gap by 30-percent or more. And there isn’t a hospital in the state that does not serve Medicare clients. He says every Iowa hospital treats Medicare patients as half a million Iowans are on Medicard and it would be hard not to, plus so many live in rural areas, some of those hometown hospitals get 60-percent or more of their revenue from Medicare. While the hospitals don’t relish remaining 50th in the nation, McIntyre says they’re more interested in continuing to close the gap between the value of services and the money Washington sends to pay for them.
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