Healthcare Reform Heats Up in Virginia

WINCHESTER, VA - Some doctors are calling the U.S. healthcare reform a reimbursement game.

"There are many policy makers and people in the field who feel like there is adequate amount of dollars in our healthcare system, but we're not getting the results that we should,"
says Mark Merrill, Valley Health System CEO. "So it's not a question of just throwing more money at the problem, it's a question of how can we get greater value."

Even though more people were supposed to be covered under the Affordable Care Act, Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell, did not accept Medicaid expansion; meaning if you make between $10,000 to $30,000 annually, you will not quality for Medicaid in Virginia.

"In health reform, part of the package is to improve access for people who do not have health insurance," says Christopher Rumpf, Chief Quality and Medical Officer with Valley Health Corporation.

Hospitals say they're disappointed.

"Some of these individuals may be able to purchase insurance through the health insurance exchanges, but the bottom line is that fewer people in Virginia will be covered by insurance," says Merrill.

The Winchester Medical Center says care providers need to keep healthcare efficient at a low cost; and patients can help by staying healthy.

"Once they have health care, take care of themselves, make sure they get the primary care physician, or practitioner, and find out what their health needs are and start making lifestyle choices that enable them to have the healthiest life possible; and follow safety issues, like wearing seat belts," says Merrill.

Hospitals say shaping up your lifestyle will help doctors adjust to budget cuts.

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