A major hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is closing its emergency room because it is hemorrhaging money:
Baton Rouge General Medical Center-Mid City will close its emergency room within the next 60 days, a victim of continuing red ink and the Jindal administration withdrawing the financial support that kept it open….
The closest emergency rooms from Baton Rouge General’s Mid City campus is Lane Regional Medical Center, 30 minutes to the north in Zachary, and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, 30 minutes to the south on Essen Lane. Mid-City’s ER recorded 45,000 patient visits last year…..
More and more poor and uninsured patients from the low-income neighborhoods of north Baton Rouge ended up at the Mid City hospital, which was the next-closest facility.
Mid City hospital reported losses of $1 million a month as more and more patients who could not pay arrived…. Officials projected losses would grow larger, reaching $25 million to $30 million in 2015.
Poor people can’t pay full freight nor are they likely to be covered by insurance. There just happens to be an extremely attractive offer to get lots of poor people covered by insurance. Medicaid expansion would help safety net hospitals in high poverty areas the most. Poor people covered by insurance will either be able to pay something towards their emergency room visits or divert to lower levels of appropropriate care.