MOUNT VERNON — Knox Community Hospital considers service to low-income families and the elderly essential to its mission. In 2012, it absorbed more than $11 million in charity care, reimbursement shortfalls and uncollectable debts. Sustaining that volume of unreimbursed care is a challenge, particularly at a time of imbalance between the cost of care and payments.
Medical fees come to KCH through four revenue streams. The largest is Medicare at 45 percent. Private insurance accounts for 30 percent. Medicaid reimbursements provide 15 percent. And self-pay accounts make up the balance.
Statistics from the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) indicate that KCH relies on Medicare for a larger-than-average slice of its revenue and takes in less from commercial insurers. The difference in ratios is small, but notable because Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is notoriously stingy. OHA says hospitals lose four cents for every dollar of service given Medicare clients. With Medicaid the gap widens to 18 cents. And KCH Chief Executive Officer Bruce White says those averages are very optimistic in light of local demographics.
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