With the new health care system coming, there are still some uncertainties surrounding the Affordable Care Act such as how it will affect small-town hospitals.
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Officials at one Iowa hospital fear they will have to shut down if one proposal is enacted. Bob Valentine, administrator for Alegent Creighton's hospital in Iowa’s Missouri Valley, said his employees know their patients and treat them like family.
Valentine said the hospital has 25 beds and is 35 miles from another hospital, which qualifies it to be designated as a critical access hospital. That designation allows them to receive reimbursements for most of their Medicare patients.
"We need that program," Valentine said. "You know, it's hardworking people that live out here and love living in these communities. They depend on us to be here for them."
Valentine said he is worried the program could be in jeopardy. He said federal experts came out with a new report that recommends shrinking the reimbursement program for critical access hospitals and tightening rules that finance them.