Mississippi hospital interim CEO eyes Medicaid lifeline

In a bid to overcome continued financial setbacks, Greenwood (Miss.) Leflore Hospital could begin receiving over $10 million in extra Medicaid supplement payments annually, the hospital's interim CEO, Gary Marchand, told Becker's

The funds are part of the nearly $700 million in additional Medicaid payments that Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves proposed Sept. 22 to combat growing healthcare challenges and affordability concerns for state hospitals.

"It will be a game changer for sure," Mr. Marchand said. "We're currently running cash losses. It will probably position us for operational viability going forward. It's going to replace about maybe two-thirds of our deficit right now. The other one-third will probably come through critical access hospital designation. It's going to have a significant impact on the opportunity for Greenwood Leflore Hospital." 

While Mr. Marchand estimates that the hospital has reduced its losses by around 40%, the 25 acute-care-bed facility is no stranger to financial challenges. This last year, the hospital went up for lease again, faced worker layoffs, and most recently was denied critical access hospital status by CMS' office in Atlanta.

"This new Medicaid payment program will reduce or eliminate the underpayments to Greenwood Leflore Hospital when caring for residents with Medicaid coverage or uninsured," Mr. Marchand said. "These new payments will help stabilize current and future operations. We appreciate the efforts to provide these additional payments in support of our operations — and the communities we serve."

Mr. Marchand expects a final response from CMS' regional office on the hospital's critical access status and on Mr. Reeves' additional Medicaid payments plan by late December or early 2024.

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