User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

52° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.


[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news


Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Small Town Hospitals Eye Medicaid Expansion

February 26, 2013, 6:52 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Small Town Hospitals Eye Medicaid Expansion

We still don't know whether legislators in Pierre will expand Medicaid, but small hospital administrators are watching.  If legislators pass such a bill, nearly 50,000 additional South Dakotans would be eligible for the government-paid health insurance.

The hospital in Faulkton operates with a small profit margin. Administrator Jay Jahnig can list several others that do the same.

"I've worked for 13 hospitals in eight states and virtually every one of the hospitals operates on a very slim margin. Uncompensated care takes a huge bite out of almost every hospital I've ever worked in," Jahnig said.

That's why Jahnig wants to see more insured people. When patients can't pay their bills, the hospital absorbs some of the costs.

"You have to make up the rest by charging your private pay patients, your privately insured patients more. Good, bad or different; that's the system we operate in," Jahnig said.

As state lawmakers heard public testimony last week, several argued Medicaid expansion would help fix those problems. Others said solutions lie in the free market, not the government.

Regardless of how it happens, Jahnig argues more insured people would allow rural hospitals to operate in a more secure environment.

"Absolutely, we need solutions to these problems," Jahnig said.

The Faulkton Area Medical Center relies on other factors to survive including support from its small town. Administration hopes a future with fewer unpaid bills helps the facility move forward as well.

The hospital budgets for charity care each year. It has very little room to go over that budgeted amount.

Previous Story

Next Story




View business

You may also like

Mitchell Superintendent Defends 'Second Job'

10/5/2015 10:02 PM

Our KELOLAND News investigation revealed some of the problems surrounding the multimillion dollar GEAR UP grant that caused the state to end its partn...

Full Story | Watch
Stacy Phelps Resigns From Board of Education

10/2/2015 3:14 PM

Phelps administered the GEAR UP program which prepared and encouraged Native American students to enroll into higher educaton.

Full Story
Coffee Shop, Pizza Chain Both Opening In East Sioux Falls

10/2/2015 2:03 PM

Marco's Pizza filed a building permit to set up shop in a new stripmall on South Sycamore Avenue.

Full Story
Missing Documents On Secretary Of State Website

10/6/2015 6:05 PM

Half a million documents that are supposed to be on the South Dakota's Secretary of State website are not online.  The current Secretary Shan...

Full Story | Watch
Pepsi Perfect To Be Released October 21

10/5/2015 3:08 PM

On October 21, the same day Marty McFly traveled through time, the soda company is releasing Pepsi Perfect.

Full Story