Local hospitals benefit from affordable care act - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Local hospitals benefit from affordable care act

 MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- Grand Strand Medical Center expects to see great benefit from the affordable care act health insurance sign ups.

The benefit hospitals will see from more and more people signing up for health insurance, is clear. 

"So, that's how it benefits, you get paid," Robert Grace summarized.

Robert Grace is the Chief Financial Officer at the Grand Strand Medical Center. He explained a hospital's duty is to care for everyone who walks into the emergency room. 

"We don't have a choice, nor would we want to make that choice," Grace said.

Grace explained, "For those who don't have health insurance, many are seen in the emergency room but, it ends there."

"Whose ever on call will take that patient but they are not long-term responsible for that patient," Grace said.

However, Grace explained with the healthcare exchange, a part of the affordable care act, people will be able to sign up for health insurance and gain access to a doctor and benefits.

"So it will help our patients find a medical home," Grace said.

Instead of abusing the emergency room and going every time you need healthcare.

"That's a very costly way of taking care of a cold or the flu, even,'" Grace said.

That hefty bill, is left for the rest of society to pay after the hospitals write it off. 

Grace said those without health insurance won't be the only ones to benefit and he sees parents are signing up their children, especially ages 20 through 28. Grace said they used to right off expenses at 100 percent. 

"So you may get a few thousand dollars for a broken hip, or someone that has a car accident, where before you would have gotten zero as a payment," Grace said. 

Open enrollment through the healthcare marketplace starts November 15 and ends February 15.

Grand Strand Medical Center helps with on site sign ups at any time. 

For Georgetown and Waccamaw Hospital sign up schedules, click here.

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