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Hospital group’s study points to benefits of Medicaid expansion

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at 8:26 a.m.

The Kansas Hospital Association has released a study on the economic and employment effects of expanding Medicaid in Kansas.

The study was produced by researchers at Regional Economic Models, Inc. and George Washington University. It was funded by the American Hospital Association.

In a news release, the hospital group said its study showed that expansion would create about 3,400 new jobs in the state in 2014 and 4,000 new jobs by 2020, in both health care facilities and industries that support health care.

Expanding Medicaid could also result in a net savings to the state of $82 million from 2014 to 2020, the report says.

The expansion of Medicaid, which provides health care services to the poor and those with disabilities, is part of the federal Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court ruled that states cannot be mandated to expand their programs, and Kansas is among several states that have not yet decided whether to expand Medicaid. Under the law, the federal government is to pick up most of the extra cost of expansion.

The Topeka-based KHA represents more than 217 member facilities, including 126 full-service community hospitals. It has been a vocal advocate for Medicaid expansion in Kansas.

The full study, including its methodology, can be found at the KHA website www.kha-net.org

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