The Union Recorder

Letters

October 31, 2012

ORMC attempts to put ‘Bed Tax’ rumors to rest

MILLEDGEVILLE — Recently, information has been circulated in the community claiming that Rep. Rusty Kidd voted to tax people when they are sick or injured and need to visit the hospital. This is a complete mischaracterization of the vote made by Rep. Kidd, and other legislators, and deserves additional explanation.

In 2010, Gov. Perdue presented an alternative to the Hospital Community at large — either the state would implement a “Bed Tax” on each hospital that would raise money to be used for a federal Medicaid program funding match to help fund the state’s struggling Medicaid budget or hospitals could accept a significant reduction in payment rates for the care of Medicaid recipients treated in hospitals. Programs similar to the one proposed in Georgia are used in other states to maximize the federal contributions available for essential Medicaid programs. Our local legislative contingent, Rep. Kidd and Sen. Grant, were very involved with Oconee Regional officials and leadership from other hospitals in their districts to understand the impacts of both alternatives on the operations of the hospitals. They were accessible for discussions and supported the tax with the knowledge and consent of our local hospital and the industry at large through the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA). This tax is not passed on locally to consumers of health care services through bills or other means, but is incorporated into the operating cash budget of ORMC each year.

This was an instance of neither alternative being favorable, and the implementation of the bed tax system was the lesser of the negative impacts on Oconee Regional Medical Center. The state was able to increase the payment rates a small amount to all hospitals providing Medicaid services through this system, and ORMC has recouped the majority of (but not all of) our contributions made through this tax for the last two and a half years. GHA is working with the Governor’s office and hospitals to improve these results and the program overall, as it comes up for review during the upcoming 2013 legislative session.

Difficult decisions and choices are facing every community and state in this country as alternatives for funding important health care services and the resulting impacts of those decisions are evaluated. Those that represent Milledgeville and Baldwin County have been very involved in these discussions during past legislative sessions and must continue to be involved in the decision making and evaluation during this next review cycle. The hospital appreciates the support of Rep. Kidd, Sen. Grant and others that have been involved in researching and understanding the alternatives available in this state and their important impact on the citizens they represent.

Jean Aycock

President/CEO

Oconee Regional Health Systems

1
Text Only
Letters
Poll
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice