Hospital loses appeal for higher reimbursements

May 22, 2008
The federal government has rebuffed an attempt by Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie to pay higher reimbursements for the Medicaid and Medicare patients it serves.

Ball Memorial, which lost $7 million on the patients last year, is reimbursed 86 cents for every dollar of the costs. Many other hospitals in the state receive 96 cents, according to The Star-Press of Muncie.

U.S. Rep. Mike Pence had asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to change a wage classification index to allow a greater reimbursement.

However, unlike Anderson or New Castle hospitals, Ball Memorial is too far from Indianapolis for it to be compared against Indianapolis hospitals. Thus, Ball Memorial is compared to smaller hospitals and their lower wages.

Medicaid and Medicare patients account for 62 percent of all Ball Memorial patients.

Ball Memorial hasn't cut programs or services, but has said the financial losses can't continue.

The hospital is owned by Cardinal Health System Inc., headquartered in Muncie.
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