Uncompensated Care Costs Rise at PA Hospitals

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State

More than a year ago, the Corbett administration decided to end the state's adultBasic program, which provided affordable health insurance to about 40,000 low-income Pennsylvanians who were unable to obtain coverage from an employer or through other programs.

We worried at the time that many of those newly uninsured would delay treatments until a health condition snowballed into a more serious and costly problem, sending more people to the emergency rooms of our community hospitals.

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council released a report this week showing that uncompensated care costs at hospitals did in fact rise in the 2010-11 fiscal year, when adultBasic ended. Uncompensated care totaled $990 million — an 11% increase over the prior year.

Dave Wenner at the Harrisburg Patriot-News has more:    

Temple Nurses Refuse To Back Down on Quality Patient Care and Human Rights

With less than a week before the today the March 31st strike deadline, nurses and healthcare professionals held a rally outside of Temple University Hospital to demand a contract that will not strip away their human rights or diminish their ability to provide quality care to patients.

Watch the story produced by Media Mobilizing Project.

Philadelphia Unemployment Project in four parts

If you guys are curious about PUP, here's a little video an intern put together for us. This is the first part, which captures a clip from a rally we did to get a woman access to a hospital. It's the first of four parts.

Part 2 - Unemployment Compensation

Part 3 - Foreclosure Prevention

Part 4 - Workers' Campaigns

Health Centers! Emergency Care! Increasing support for Public Health

PUP members supporting the city's efforts to bring in more Federal funds on 4/14/08

In the present economic downturn, many states have decreased their spending, particularly in the area of public health. That's why it's gratifying to see City Council, the Department of Public Welfare and the General Assembly working together to bring more dollars into the state so we can actually improve care for the Uninsured and Medicaid eligible population in Philadelphia.

Quick Fact! Just because a person has Medical Assistance Health Coverage, that doesn't mean they can find a doctor! Most doctors around here refuse to accept Medical Assistance, that's why the Federally Qualified Health Centers and the City's Health Centers are so important.

Council took the first step yesterday to move a plan that will move millions more dollars into our hospitals and health centers. PUP is especially excited because the Department of Health believes that these new funds should enable them to bring wait times at City Health Centers down to less than 30 days and improve health care by implementing electronic records throughout all city facilities (including jails and youth centers).

More details in the jump!

Rx4PA: House Bill 2098 would do for Pennsylvania what Medicare has done for everyone

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is pressing legislators to pass HB 2098, a bill submitted on December 6th and sitting before the House Insurance Committee (authored by its chair, Rep. DeLuca). We were all a little disappointed earlier this year when the legislative process failed to make good on Governor Rendell's plan to allow our insurers to quit paying for infections and mistakes made by Hospitals. Then, the next thing we knew, Medicare (by far the biggest spender in Healthcare) came along and said it wasn't going to pay for those mistakes or infections starting late in 2008, anyway. Which could have nearly the same effect, so HB 2098 seeks to give our Pennsylvania insurers that same right: to refuse to pay bills for procedures correcting conditions that hospitals should have prevented.

"But wait! I thought we already solved this problem?" you ask. Sure you do. We did something about it, but we sure didn't solve it. In fact, in one very important way, we took a step backward. A big step. Click Read More to see what I mean!

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