hospital payments

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Hospitals and skilled nursing facilities in Kansas are part of an ongoing national conflict over “observational stays” that can leave the facilities and Medicare patients on the hook for uncovered rehabilitation costs after they leave the hospital.

The conflict revolves around Medicare’s “three-day rule,” which requires a person to be admitted to the hospital on an inpatient basis for at least three days in order to qualify for inpatient rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility, covered by Medicare, after they’re discharged.

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Considering a major joint replacement?

If you check into the University of Kansas Hospital, you might be charged more than $115,000. But if you go to Olathe Medical Center just 22 miles down the road, you’re apt to be billed just over $50,000.

Coping with renal failure? At Truman Medical Center, the bill is likely to add up to more than $14,000. But at Research Medical Center, a mere six miles distant, it’s more likely to come to $48,000.

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Hospitals in Kansas could lose some federal money if the state doesn't expand Medicaid services under the federal health care law. A lawmaker helping to draft the budget says the state needs to consider assisting those hospitals. 

Many hospitals receive payments to help them cover the costs of medical care for the uninsured. They’re known as disproportionate share hospital payments.   As the federal health care law continues, the focus will move to funding more Medicaid services, meaning the current disproportionate share funds could be reduced or completely eliminated.