News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

AZ losing U.S. bucks for immigrant hospital care?

HEIDI ROWLEY

Published: 04.09.2008

A federal fund that helps area hospitals cover some of the costs of treating illegal immigrants is about to dry up.

As 30 illegal immigrants injured in a van rollover Monday were receiving care here, Tucson hospital administrators were in Washington, D.C., trying to keep the fund alive beyond the September expiration date.

Kevin Burns, chief financial officer for University Medical Center, could not say Tuesday how much the seven immigrants sent to UMC for trauma care will cost the hospital.

"They have no means and when they get hurt, the hospitals of Arizona have a mandate to take care of these people," Burns said from Washington.

He said UMC receives $1 million to $2 million a year to help cover the estimated $5 million to $6 million in costs of caring for illegal immigrants.

The federal mandate, identified as Section 1011 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, helps with costs until a patient is stable.

"The moment they are deemed stable, that program no longer covers them," Burns said. "Yet that patient could end up in a hospital bed for 20 to 30 days and we don't get any compensation for that."

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