JACKSON, Miss. — This week, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves held a press conference announcing Medicaid reimbursement reforms that will include two hospital payment initiatives estimated to generate around $700 million annually in additional Medicaid funds for hospitals throughout the state.
“The Governor’s willingness to allocate much-needed funding for Mississippi hospitals is a welcome financial boost to healthcare systems in the state. However, it does not negate that these same hospitals have long-suffered due to the refusal of the governor to expand Medicaid which would be a viable long-term solution,” said Sonya Williams-Barnes, state policy director for the SPLC. “Reports have shown that 32 percent of Mississippi’s rural hospitals are on the brink of immediate closure. Adding to that, nearly 22,000 Mississippians were dropped from Medicaid in July of this year, stripping them of necessary health protections. The state does not need a band-aid solution and that is what the Governor is offering. Mississippians need leadership that puts their health and quality of life first.”
Mississippi has one of the most vulnerable health care systems in the country with the fewest active physicians per capita. Mississippi also has the highest poverty rate in the United States.
Hospital closures in the state are consistent with other states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid, leading to dire financial loss for hospitals and communities.