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Local health systems ask for expansion of Virginia Medicaid programs

By Julie Newman
Published On: Aug 07 2013 09:44:11 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 07 2013 01:30:31 PM CDT
ABINGDON, Va. -

Mountain States and Wellmont met with business owners along with city and state leaders to push for the expansion of state Medicaid programs.

Mountain States Health Alliance will be cutting 200 jobs during the next few months. CEO Dennis Vonderfecht announced those cuts Wednesday at a meeting in Abingdon, Virginia.

Mountain States says it could lose up to $18 million a year at their Virginia hospitals, without expanding Medicaid programs.

The healthcare system has made several cuts during the last year.

Mountain States and Wellmont met with business owners along with city and state leaders to push for the expansion of state Medicaid programs.

Wellmont CEO Denny DeNarvaez tells us, "We would like to have a group of folks that have access to insurance so they don't access the emergency room as their sole source of care. That's a very expensive way to get care, and frankly at the end of the day, probably won't save us money that way."

They say many people are falling through the cracks because they cannot afford private insurance, and they don't qualify for the state Medicaid programs.