August 8, 2022


Slick Healthy

Mississippi ranked last for health system performance

A new report from The Commonwealth Fund ranked Mississippi past in the country for well being program functionality. 

The yearly scorecards introduced by the Fund ordinarily rank Mississippi around the bottom or final throughout wellness treatment access and excellent actions, but this year the scorecard also judged how health systems fared through the pandemic.

Among the report’s results:

  • In between August 2020 and March 2022, there have been 323 days in which at minimum 80 % of ICU beds in Mississippi ended up occupied. Only Ga, Rhode Island, Alabama and Texas fared worse by this metric. 
  •  Every condition has expert better-than-envisioned mortality from all causes thanks to COVID-19 and the interruptions to plan wellness treatment, but Mississippi saw the greatest amount of surplus fatalities in the nation in between Feb. 1, 2020 and April 23, 2022. The number of excess fatalities varies fivefold across states, from 110 per 100,000 people today in Hawaii to 596 for each 100,000 in Mississippi. The condition observed the best costs of excessive fatalities from the two COVID-19 and treatable causes like coronary heart disorder. 
  • Mississippi saw a 55% increase in drug overdose deaths concerning 2019-2020, the highest in the nation. In 2020, there were being a lot more overdose deaths involving opioids than any other substance at 69%. Fatalities involving synthetic opioids these types of as fentanyl accounted for 53% of all overdose fatalities. 

Richard Roberson, vice president of point out policy and in-residence counsel for the Mississippi Healthcare facility Association, claimed that the failure to extend Medicaid has been a key variable in maintaining numerous Mississippians uninsured and weakening the state’s clinic method.

“The federal govt has available us an alternative for a decade, and that possibility is Medicaid expansion,” Roberson explained. “If you really do not like that possibility, then appear up with a little something else. We have had a 10 years to occur up with something else, and I haven’t observed leadership on that situation.”

Mississippi is a single of 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid beneath the Reasonably priced Care Act, leaving hundreds of countless numbers of Mississippians without protection. All those in the protection gap make far too minimal to enroll in Medicaid, but much too a great deal to qualify for backed overall health insurance policy designs by way of the Very affordable Treatment Act marketplace. 

Gov. Tate Reeves and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn oppose Medicaid enlargement and have extended taken care of that the state are not able to manage the expenses irrespective of scientific studies that indicate or else.

If Medicaid were being expanded, the federal government would address 90% of the wellbeing care expenses associated to growth, while Mississippi would have to cover the remaining 10%. Final September, a single of Mississippi’s best economists launched a research showing that the 10% point out match would be much more than covered by wellbeing care-connected personal savings to the state and new tax income produced.

Not only have elected officials failed to offer significant possibilities to Medicaid expansion, they have not seriously thought of the alternate options offered to them, Roberson said.

Roberson details to the Mississippi Cares prepare as one instance, a supplier-sponsored well being prepare that the Mississippi Clinic Association proposed in 2019. The program would have prolonged protection to Missisippians earning up to 138% of the federal poverty degree.

Beneath the plan, enrollees would have the exact rewards as Medicaid enrollees, apart from for non-emergency transportation expert services. Dental and vision protection would be integrated as very well. 

Mississippi Cares would have generally been compensated for as a result of a Medicaid waiver software, with hospitals them selves building up for any excess fees that would have normally fallen on the point out. Clients would have only paid out a $20 regular monthly price and $100 copay for certain non-crisis hospital visits. 

Roberson mentioned that Mississippi Cares was never ever severely thought of by the Legislature.

“‘No’ is not a alternative and just sticking your head in the sand doesn’t make it (the difficulty) go away,” Roberson stated. 

In Mississippi, it charges hospitals $1,311 to offer a person day of inpatient treatment according to Kaiser Household Foundation info. This is the most affordable price tag in the nation, and considerably less than 50 percent of the countrywide ordinary, but Roberson claimed Mississippi’s hospitals don’t bring in enough earnings for the very low prices to hold them afloat.

“It does not make a difference how low your expenditures are,” Roberson explained. “If you simply cannot have enough revenue to protect your expenditures, you’re however heading to be underwater. So that is where a lot of our hospitals discover by themselves.”

Intern Allison Santa-Cruz contributed to this report.

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