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Community Hospitals Become Default Advisors on HIX

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 25, 2013

"Soon millions of Americans in rural communities will have new opportunities for quality, affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in prepared remarks. "Through these awards, trusted community providers will help people understand their coverage options, including whether they can get a discount on costs."

(It's not clear if that money will be nearly enough for the task at hand, but undoubtedly the thousands of tiny rural hospitals out there whose critical access designation is under threat will take comfort in knowing that they are still "trusted community providers.")-

Of course it makes sense that hospital associations would actively press their members to push HIX and that these member hospitals would embrace the challenge as well, if only for the bottom line and regardless of how they feel about the larger reforms under the PPACA. The more insured patients, the more reimbursements, the less charity care, etc.

Lori Real, COO of Bi-State Primary Care Association in Vermont, says the nonprofit is using its $25,000 grant to support outreach and enrollment in select parts of that almost entirely rural state.

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