Hospital Bankruptcies Leave Sick and Injured Nowhere to Go

January 9, 2020, Bloomberg, Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Jeremy Hill - A quiet crisis is unfolding for U.S. hospitals, with bankruptcies and closures threatening to leave some of the country’s most vulnerable citizens without care. As a gauge of distress in the health-care sector has soared, at least 30 hospitals entered bankruptcy in 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They range from Hahnemann University Hospital in downtown Philadelphia to De Queen Medical Center in rural Sevier County, Arkansas and Americore Health LLC, a company built on preserving rural hospitals.

LENA MITCHELL: Medicaid expansion needed

January 8, 2019, Daily Journal, Cheryl Lena Mitchell - The Mississippi Legislature convened yesterday to begin its 2020 session to consider what state laws should be enacted. More than 100,000 of Mississippi’s uninsured residents would be eligible for Medicaid if the state were to approve an expansion of the program, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.The high number of uninsured Mississippians makes it important to keep the issue high on the Legislature’s agenda.

SID SALTER: Health care, retirement system woes major challenges for state leaders

January 8, 2019, Daily Journal, Sid Salter - State voters in 2019 chose a new governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and state treasurer along with significant turnover in both the state House and Senate. There will be new state agency leadership and the legislative committee system will see a substantial reshuffling of the deck in terms of committee chairmen. All that new political horsepower will be tested quickly. Mississippi’s new executive branch leadership and the Mississippi Legislature face some unavoidable challenges that will prove daunting - and are not problems of their creation.

Speaker Philip Gunn lays out priorities after first day of Mississippi legislative session

January 7, 2020, The Clarion Ledger, Giacomo Bologna - As lawmakers prepare to tackle big issues such as Medicaid expansion, state employee pay and a gas tax increase this legislative session, Speaker Philip Gunn is treading lightly. Talking to reporters Tuesday after being re-elected to a third straight term as Speaker, Gunn provided few specific policy goals for the new session aside from wanting to create more jobs. When asked about the possibility of expanding Medicaid coverage to lower-income Mississippians through the federal Affordable Care Act, Gunn said he was against it, but also didn’t rule “reform” out.

Gov.-elect Reeves appoints Drew Snyder to continue leading state’s Medicaid agency

January 6, 2020, Daily Journal, Taylor Vance - Republican Gov.-elect Tate Reeves on Monday announced that he is appointing Drew Snyder to continue serving as executive director of the Mississippi Medicaid Division, a move which could signal little change for the state agency. Reeves made the formal announcement at the agency’s division office in Tupelo, where he praised Snyder’s leadership of the agency the past two years under outgoing Gov. Phil Bryant by saying the agency is now on track to have a balanced budget for two consecutive years.

Rise in delivery complications is increasing hospital costs

January 6, 2020, Modern Healthcare, Maria Castellucci - Women are more likely to experience an unexpected outcome during delivery and it’s adding to hospital costs, according to a new analysis from Premier. The rate of women with a severe maternal morbidity factor, which are complications during labor such as sepsis, shock or eclampsia, rose by 36% from 2008 to 2018, Premier found. And those vaginal births cost nearly 80% more on average than those without complications. Additionally, cesarean deliveries for women with a severe maternal morbidity factor cost almost twice as much as uncomplicated C-sections on average. The findings should be a signal to hospitals that they can do more to prevent complications, said Deb Kilday, leader of Premier’s Women, Infant and Children’s Service Line.