KCHC weathers uncertain fate of health care

Times have changed in the medical industry. Whether one's opinions feel it’s for the worse or the better, trends have changed throughout the country. At Keokuk County Health Center (KCHC), the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid expansion has brought upon different results.

“When Medicaid expanded, we did see a decrease in what are considered ‘self insured’ patients by about two percentage points,” Matt Ives, KCHC CEO said. “For us, the Medicaid expansion did help provide additional insurance for some of our patients that decreased our self pay demographic. Over the course of a couple of years now, that’s up to three percent we’ve seen.”

With costs continuing to rise, including the single highest cost increase in 33 years last year in August by one percent, fewer patients are able to pay expenses out of pocket.

“Overall, we’ve seen a decrease in self pay and a very small increase for people who qualified for the open marketplace provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” Ives said. “However, those aren’t real significant numbers for us. I know there are certainly people out there.”

According to Ives, the marketplace will only have one option next year, leaving little option available for Iowans. Wellmark, the last option standing in the state, will be made to adapt to change as Managed Care companies have made changes to how they do business, including how they are paid.

“I don’t know if that will work against us moving forward,” Ives said. “We’ve made headway recently, but we’re still working on getting paid correctly by them, and that’s been a big struggle.”

Please view the August 2 edition of The News-Review for the full story.