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Salem Hospital Officials Discuss National Rural Health Day

By WJBD News

Salem Township Hospital Administrator Stephanie Hilton-Siebert says the purpose of National Rural Health Day goes deeper than just providing free testing and information on hospital services.  She reports there is a concern that rural health care remains a priority as major changes and shifts occur in health care.  

"The biggest thing that we are going to see is an influx of people that are going to have access to care.  They're going to have some type of health insurance through the health insurance exchange that are currently not insured.  So as we bring a lot more people into the system who are not receiving care now, we have to make sure that we have care providers who are available to do that", said Hilton-Siebert.  

And Hilton-Siebert says there are financial concerns as well.  "Some of the smaller facilities that you see that don't serve a large population, it's going to be hard for them to survive because they are experiencing cuts and we have the delay of payments, especially looking at Medicaid.  We're looking at over the year that we haven't been paid in some of those areas.  In looking at the dollar amount, there are just some hospitals that just can't exist with that.  We want to make sure that we don't have people drive 100-miles to have simple health care", said Hilton-Siebert.

Hilton-Siebert says there is work being done on the state level to try and fix some of the problems with medicaid.  

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