UAMS' Rahn: Obamacare is hospital's lifeline | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 23, 2014

UAMS' Rahn: Obamacare is hospital's lifeline

Posted By on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

click to enlarge CHANCELLOR RAHN: Predicts a different UAMS if private option isn't renewed.
  • CHANCELLOR RAHN: Predicts a different UAMS if private option isn't renewed.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Chancellor Dan Rahn told the joint committee of the hospital and the UA Board of Trustees today without the private option's promise of newly insured Arkansans and additional revenues from the state, UAMS "is going to be a very different institution." 

"We are at a crossroads," Rahn told the committee. If the hospital makes "only incrementally better changes we will fail ... the model we've relied on will not support the mission going forward."

In fiscal year 2013, the hospital's budgeted revenue was $1.27 billion. Patient care provided 71 percent of the revenue; the remaining 29 percent came from the state (9 percent), fund-raising (5 percent), grants (12 percent) and tuition (3 percent). This year, the hospital has $30 million less to operate with than it did in 2013, thanks to federal sequestration ($10 million in cuts in Medicare and the budget of the National Institutes of Health) and one-time funds ($20 million). The hospital predicts an increase in patient revenues to 73 percent, thanks to persons already enrolled under the private option, but expects to receive less in grants, trimming this year's predicted revenues to $1.25 billion.

Rahn noted that the future of Medicaid expansion "up in the air" — lawmakers are making noises about killing the private option in the upcoming financial session starting in February, taking away from more than 100,000 Arkansans the insurance they can obtain now. Without Affordable Care Act dollars, uncompensated care at UAMS will continue to be a huge burden ($67 million now, the sixth highest in the nation's teaching hospitals). Maintaining the flow of health care dollars, through the private option, to insure low-income patients "is the most important thing to happen" to keep UAMS providing quality health care, education and research, Rahn said.

Should 75 percent of eligible Arkansans enroll in Medicaid and the private option, UAMS' patient revenues would increase by $14 million this year and $28 million in 2015, Rahn said. "This will go two-thirds of the way toward dealing with the current financial challenges," Rahn said. He hopes to make up the rest by belt-tightening restructuring of the university and hospital.

Another wallop to UAMS' budget: Gov. Mike Beebe's budget calls for a 1 percent decrease, to 8 percent, in the state's appropriation to UAMS in 2015. The state cut $1.6 million from UAMS' budget for this year, and Beebe's cuts represent a reduction of $7.6 million. The reason for the cut: expected new revenues from the private option.

Factoring in UAMS' cost of covering depreciation expenses will create a paper deficit of $45.3 million this year and $49.5 million in 2015. Without covering that expense, the university will be hampered in efforts to obtain bonds to grow or invest in new equipment, Rahn said.

Dr. Richard Smith, dean of the College of Medicine, said staffers are wearing buttons that say "Get In" to encourage patients to sign up for the new insurance coverage. Clinics also have counselors available to explain to uninsured patients how to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.

In other business, the committee voted to recommend to the full board the approval of the legislative audit report on the University of Arkansas and an internal audit concerning the nearly $5 million shortfall in the university's advancement division. UA Chancellor David Gearhart and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Don Pederson made a quick report to the board on progress the administration is making on meeting changes recommended by the legislative audit in its financial accounting. Committee chair John Goodson asked if there had been "any resistance to change" at the UA and Pederson said no. Goodson then gave a flowery declaration that the mismanagement was a "painful experience, but I view it as beneficial." Now there are new policies to address "some issues we had up there," Goodson said, and attention to it "brought to light all the good things that happen and are happening" at the UA. "We are lucky to have such a prosperous" university, he said. Prosperous enough to cover a little budget deficit in the millions.

The full Board of Trustees meets tomorrow at UAMS. 


Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Third Friday in Argenta: Artwalking to see Southern landscapes and more

    Works by some of Arkansas's most distinguished artists, including the late Al Allen and Carroll Cloar, along with famed regionalist Thomas Hart Benton make up part of the offerings in "Southern Landscapes," a new exhibition at Greg Thompson Fine Art (429 Main St.) opening with the monthly Third Friday Argenta ArtWalk tonight.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • 'Sign of the Times': Political posters at CHARTS

    Hendrix College's Dr. Jay Barth will give a talk and sax player Dr. Barry McVinney and pianist Mark Binns will provide the music at tonight's opening of "The Sign of the Times: The Great American Political Poster" in the Windgate Gallery at UA Pulaski Tech's CHARTS (The Center for Humanities and Arts). The event runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • GiGi's opens with soul food and 'old school R and B vibe'

    GiGi’s Soul Cafe and Lounge at 10840 Maumelle Blvd., where the Nashville Rockin Grill was located, opened July 28 and co-owner Darrell Wyrick the restaurant is “bringing back the spirit of some of the places that have gone, like Porter’s and The Afterthought” with its soul food and “old school R and B vibe.”
    • Aug 16, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016

Most Shared

  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.
  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

  • Police identify three dead in Birchwood

    Police have now released some details about the apparent slaying Sunday of two children and suicide of the man who killed them on Birchwood Drive in West Little Rock. Court recordx indicate the suspect had a history of domestic violence.
  • University of Texas removes Confederate statues

    Confederate statuary was removed overnight from a prominent spot on the University of Texas campus because they symbolize white supremacy and neo-Nazism, the university president said.
  • Eclipse day. Woodstock?

    I was amused by the excitement of a NASA scientist over today's eclipse, as reported by CNN.
  • Open line and Civil War update

    More Confederacy defenders were on hand in Bentonville against imagined threats to a one of hte Confederate statues put up long after the Civil War to spin a narrative about the noble Lost Cause.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation