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Governor Beshear signs bill improving access to healthcare and expand resources for hospitals in Kentucky

Governor Beshear signing HB 75 with lawmakers and hospital representatives
Gov. Andy Beshear Facebook Live
Governor Beshear signing HB 75 with lawmakers and hospital representatives

Kentucky’s rural hospitals will receive help from a bipartisan bill signed Monday afternoon by Governor Beshear. House Bill 75 is designed to improve access to healthcare for Kentuckians by allowing hospitals to use federal resources without having to use state funds.

Kentucky Hospital Association Legislative committee chair Don Lloyd said this bill will help many people in rural parts of the commonwealth.

“By signing this legislation, the expanded funding provided by HB 75 allows our institutions to improve access and expand care in the communities we serve.”

Pikeville Medical Center CEO Donovan Blackburn said his hospital will greatly benefit from this bill.

“Because we’re remote, we typically pay a higher operational rate, experience longer patient stays due to treating sicker patients and have less commercial insurance resulting in lower reimbursement per patient, with a higher cost due to the required resource burn. So, our operational cost are higher, our payments are lower, our margins are oftentimes, even lower.”

The newly signed bill requires the state’s Department for Medicaid Services to assess outpatient services and then provide additional payments to hospitals. Officials say the assessment can reduce payment gaps between Medicaid reimbursements and what would be paid by private health insurance. The law is retroactive, back to January 1st of this year.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.