COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's Medicaid agency will begin fully reimbursing rural hospitals this October for treating people without health insurance.
Gov. Nikki Haley and Medicaid director Tony Keck touted the shift Thursday as a way to stabilize rural hospitals that struggle to stay open.
Haley says the policy focuses support on hot spots of poor health.
But Democratic Rep. James Smith says it pits urban hospitals against rural ones.
The state has distributed its $461 million Medicaid fund for uncompensated care to hospitals equally. That covers 60 percent of their costs. Now 19 hospitals will be reimbursed 100 percent.
Haley first announced the policy change in her State of the State address. Her news conference to explain the change came two days after Democratic legislators accused Haley of disregarding rural areas.
A look at which hospitals get more Medicaid money
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The state's Medicaid agency will begin in October fully compensating rural hospitals their cost of treating patients who lack health insurance. The agency plans to add the Bamberg hospital, if it reopens. The following lists the designated hospitals:
-Abbeville County Hospital
-Allendale County Hospital
-Barnwell County Hospital
-Chester County Hospital
-Chesterfield General Hospital
-Clarendon Memorial Hospital
-Colleton Medical Center
-Edgefield County Hospital
-Fairfield Memorial Hospital
-Hampton Regional Medical Center
-Lake City Community Hospital
-Laurens County Hospital
-Marion County Medical
-Marlboro Park Hospital
-McLeod Regional Medical Center in Dillon
-Newberry County Hospital
-Williamsburg Regional Hospital
Source: S.C. Department of Health and Human Services