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Health Care Law Means More Money For San Diego Hospitals

Representatives for the more than 35 hospitals in San Diego and Imperial counties support the health-care reform law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

— Representatives for the more than 35 hospitals in San Diego and Imperial counties support the health-care reform law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

Medical providers anticipate reimbursement for an estimated 200,000 uninsured patients that would qualify for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

County health officials said about 600,000 people in San Diego County are uninsured; nearly 70,000 are children.

Current law requires that medical providers -- including hospitals -- provide care for patients even if they don’t have insurance and can’t pay for services.

Because providers are not typically reimbursed for care rendered to the uninsured, the county and private hospitals typically absorb the cost of their care.

The new law would ease that financial burden, said Steve Escoboza, CEO and president of the trade organization, Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial counties.

“The hospitals, physician offices and clinics, basically the entire provider network, will benefit in terms of having some reimbursement for the cost of care that until now has been uncompensated,” said Escoboza.

County health officials said they’re working on modernizing eligibility operations to implement the law locally.

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