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Usa News

MS hospitals must adapt and reduce services to stay open

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – You’ve probably noticed that the price of gas and food have gone up, and hospitals are seeing similar increases that are impacting how they help patients.

“The cost of labor has gone up, the cost of supplies, equipment, food, all of that has gone up, but the income really hasn’t gone up,” said Mississippi’s Robert Roberson. Hospital Association.

According to Roberson, in 2019 the hospital industry was losing $132 million a year, and in 2022 that number is growing.

In response, hospitals must make tough decisions to keep their doors open to patients.

“We’re already seeing that to some degree in the Jackson metro area,” Roberson said. “I know there has been recent coverage of what is happening at Merit Central. Hospitals need to look at the services they provide, but if they can’t get the revenue they need from that service to maintain it, they simply can’t afford to continue.

So what types of services are being removed? Specialized departments such as trauma, labor and delivery, and burns units are the first to go due to the cost of labor and supplies.

“At the end of the day, this, you know, it hurts patients, it hurts all of us in Mississippi when it has to happen,” Roberson said. “But when the choice is either not to have health services or to maintain a certain level of services.”

Roberson says now that hospitalizations for COVID-19 have declined, now is the time for hospitals to assess what is left and what is happening.

“They keep evolving and we’re finding out what this new normal looks like, right now. But the bigger challenge is just from a revenue perspective,” Roberson said.

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