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Rick Jacobs, CFO at Canton-Potsdam Hospital.
Rick Jacobs, CFO at Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

Canton-Potsdam Hospital wants NY to expand Medicaid

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Leaders at Canton-Potsdam Hospital want New York to expand the Medicaid program to include people whose incomes are above the federal poverty level. In its ruling upholding the federal health care act last week, the U.S. Supreme Court said states don't have to expand Medicaid.

However, Rick Jacobs, the hospital's Chief Financial Officer, says expansion would benefit the local hospital. He says if more people have government health insurance, there should be less need for charity care. That would help the hospital's bottom line and minimize the hospital's exposure to bad debt and charity care.

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Julie Grant
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Leaders at Canton-Potsdam Hospital want New York to expand the Medicaid program to include people whose incomes are above the federal poverty. This is in spite of the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that states don’t have to expand Medicaid.

Rick Jacobs is the hospital's Chief Financial Officer. He says if more people have government health insurance, there should be less need for charity care. That means lower costs for the hospital. He said, "The expansion of the Medicaid program to people up to 133% of poverty to be able to get the care they need, while minimizing the hospital’s exposure to bad debt and charity care."

Jacobs says Canton-Potsdam Hospital currently pays more than $1 million a year for people who can't, or don't, pay their bills. All hospitals in New York are required to have a charity care program, and provide services at reduced or no charge. Jacobs says people who have health insurance subsidize those costs. "In some way, shape or form, all those costs have to be accounted for. I'm not saying all of it gets passed on. It is a process where overall cost finding methodology has to account for care rendered to those people," said Jacobs.

The Court last week upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, which is meant to get more people insured, either through government programs or lower-cost private plans.

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