Nebraska hospitals provide $1.4 billion in community benefits each year

Nebraska hospitals provide a $15 billion boost to the state’s economy each year. That’s according to a new study from the Nebraska Hospital Association. “Our hospitals employ 50,000 Nebraskas and pay more than $3.6 billion a year in payroll and benefits,” said Jeremy Nordquist, president of the Nebraska Hospital Association. Nordquist said hospitals also provide millions of dollars to the communities they serve. “Together, Nebraska hospitals provide approximately $1.4 billion in community benefits,” Nordquist said. CHI Health has invested $208 million in workforce development training, awareness and mental health safe housing for homeless patients. But the biggest amount went to charity care. underinsured, which is the most we’ve served and our 151-year history. I think that says a lot about what our communities are facing,” said Kelly Nielsen, CHI Health Division Vice President for Strategy and Healthier Communities. But hospitals face challenges as they emerge from the pandemic with staffing shortages. “Projections indicate that we’re going to be short, about 5,000 to 6,000 nurses by 2025,” Nordquist said. Nordquist said Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements are not keeping up with rising costs for salaries, supplies, energy and drugs. the cost of drugs is going up 30 to 40 percent,” Nordquist said. And he said federal pandemic aid was starting to be phased out.” And there is no new flow of federal money. spent and now we are faced with a way forward in a very challenging environment,” Nordquist said. Ivan Mitchell, CEO of Great Plains Health in North Platte said they are feeling the pressure.” This year so far we have had margins. And unless these costs are somehow brought under control, it will be very difficult for hospitals and health systems in the future,” Mitchell said. more people to consider r healthcare careers.” Train the workforce to ensure we have the healthcare leaders, healthcare clinicians of the future. So every year we have over 2,000 learners who are right here at Children’s whom we are training for the future,” Chacon said. CHI Health has launched its own travel nurse program in the system to retain staff by giving them more flexibility.” Within our footprint, we now have a workforce that has both the benefit of being part of our CHI family and the benefits of traveling and exploring other communities,” said Nielsen. Nielsen said a positive sign is that they are seeing more patients with insurance because Nebraska voters approved Medicaid expansion in 2018. This helps about 90,000 low-income adults ages 19 to 64 to receive benefits. But Nielsen and other hospital officials tal said they would be there for the patients. “Regardless of our budget. And the tension we are under. This is what we are called to do. We are still served patients who need care regardless,” Nielsen said.

Nebraska hospitals provide a $15 billion boost to the state’s economy each year.

That’s according to a new study from the Nebraska Hospital Association.

“Our hospitals employ 50,000 Nebraskaans and pay more than $3.6 billion a year in payroll and benefits,” said Jeremy Nordquist, president of the Nebraska Hospital Association.

Nordquist said hospitals also provide millions of dollars to the communities they serve.

“Together, Nebraska hospitals provide approximately $1.4 billion in community benefits,” Nordquist said.

CHI Health has invested $208 million in workforce development training, awareness and mental health safe housing for homeless patients.

But the biggest amount went to charity care.

“We’ve served over 320,000 people who needed to see a doctor but were uninsured or underinsured, which is the most we’ve served and our 151-year history. I think it says a lot about what our communities are facing,” said Kelly Nielsen. , CHI Health’s Divisional Vice President for Strategy and Healthier Communities.

But hospitals face challenges as they emerge from the pandemic with staff shortages.

“The projections are that we’re going to be short, about 5,000 to 6,000 nurses by 2025,” Nordquist said.

Nordquist said Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements are not keeping up with rising costs for salaries, supplies, energy and drugs.

“We have seen supply costs increase by 20%, food costs by 10-15%, utility costs for hospitals by 10-15% and drug costs increase by 30-40%,” he said. said Nordquist.

And he said federal pandemic aid was beginning to be phased out.

“And there’s no new flow of federal money coming in. The Care Act dollars have pretty much all been spent, and now we’re faced with a way forward in a very challenging environment,” Nordquist said. .

Ivan Mitchell, CEO of Great Plains Health in North Platte, said they are feeling the pressure.

“This year so far, we’ve had negative margins. And unless those costs are somehow brought under control, it’s going to be very difficult for hospitals and healthcare systems across the country. future,” Mitchell said.

Chanda Chacon, President and CEO, Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, said they were innovating and working to encourage more people to consider healthcare careers.

“Training the workforce to ensure we have the healthcare leaders, the healthcare clinicians of the future. So every year we have over 2,000 learners right here at the Children’s who we are training for the future,” Chacon mentioned.

CHI Health launched its own travel nurse program in the system to retain staff by giving them more flexibility.

“Within our footprint, we now have a workforce that has both the benefit of being part of our CHI family and the benefits of traveling and exploring other communities,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen said a positive sign is that they are seeing more patients insured because Nebraska voters approved the Medicaid expansion in 2018.

It enables approximately 90,000 low-income adults aged 19 to 64 to receive benefits.

“We’re definitely starting to see that swing with more people covered, which is a huge plus,” Nielsen said.

But Nielsen and other hospital officials said they would be there for the patients.

“It doesn’t matter what our budget is. And how much pressure we’re under. That’s what we’re called to do. We’re always served patients who need care regardless,” Nielsen said.

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