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- 03-26-2006, 01:31 PM #1
Hospitals: We Are Losing Millions Treating Illegal Immigrant
http://www.team4news.com/Global/story.a ... 1&nav=0w0v
Hospitals: We Are Losing Millions Treating Illegal Immigrants
March 26, 2006, 07:32 AM PST
Reported by Anabel Marquez
Michael Mohun is the director of the emergency room at the Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen.
Mohun is a busy man.
Last year, his emergency room saw over 43,000 patients. Many of those people were undocumented immigrants.
“We treat every patient who comes, regardless of their ability to pay,” he said.
But because the hospital never refuses patients, it incurred over $13 million in net un-reimbursed costs during the 2004 fiscal year.
Now hospital officials are hoping to get reimbursed through the “Undocumented Immigrant Care Funding Program,” established by the federal government last year.
“We turned the documentation in but there's no guarantee that we'll get any reimbursement or monies back for that,” Mohun said.
Hospital spokesman Michael Swartz isn't too optimistic either. He believes the government will reimburse up to one fourth of the $13 million, if they get lucky.
“We'll probably get a few hundred thousand dollars,” he said.
To make matters worse, the number of uninsured patients visiting the hospital seems to be on the rise, Mohun said.
“They're using up space, we have overcrowding, we use IV's and fluids, medications (and) testing,” he indicated. “A lot of the drugs we use tend to be expensive and the hospital in particular doesn't get paid for that.”
Mohun also said that many other health institutions are going out of business because they can't afford to treat patients without getting reimbursements.
On Saturday, Janie Gonzalez accompanied a relative to the emergency room.
Her thoughts on this issue: “If it's really an emergency like a heart patient, that needs to be treated right away.”
But she feels uninsured patients should be treated only depending on the severity of their case.
But Mohun said the hospital can't make that call.No one can judge the urgency a person might have to feel better, he said.
In the meantime, the hospital will wait and see how much the government will pay back.Need Law Enforcement Information? Click here for the Alipac Action Panel
- 03-26-2006, 01:48 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
- North Carolina
Illegal aliens should only been seen in a life threatening emergency. Why not set up a triage area to determine the severity of the ailment?
If it's determined there is no life threatening emergency, tell them to go to the nearest National Council of La Raza office.