A commission will recommend Wyoming consider legislation that would require hospitals to pay into an uncompensated-care fund if they dont offer emergency care services or treat a comparable payer mix as other hospitals in the state. The Wyoming Healthcare Commission, an advisory group appointed by the states governor, recommended enacting such a requirement after reviewing a report on specialty hospitals. The commission also agreed to recommend that the state improve its collection of hospital financial and utilization data. The group will submit its recommendations to a joint healthcare committee of the state House and Senate next week.
The report, by the Center for Studying Health System Change, examined the impact of specialty hospitals on general acute-care hospitals in several states and looked at differences between for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals of all types. Researchers didnt find strong evidence of the general hospitals being strongly damaged by the presence of specialty hospitals, said Susan Anderson, the commissions executive director. Researchers also found little difference between the amount of uncompensated care provided by not-for-profit and for-profit hospitals, she said. Wyoming has no specialty hospitals, however, National Surgical Hospitals broke ground earlier this month on a for-profit specialty hospital in Casper. The Legislature commissioned the report earlier this year after concerns were raised about the competitive effect of specialty hospitals. -- by Jessica Zigmond