Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming Legislature has approved a bill that is intended to help hospitals in the state cover costs for patients who cannot afford to pay for health care. 

After lawmakers rejected the $100 million a year in federal funds that would have come from Medicaid Expansion, this was viewed as a last ditch attempt to help hospitals. But opponents say the bill just throws money at the problem.

Senate Labor and Health Committee Chairman Charles Scott says the two and a half million dollars in the bill will help some of the small hospitals in the state.

The State Senate continues debating a bill that would provide money to public hospitals in the state to help pay for uncompensated care.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Tony Ross tried to reduce the 5-million dollars in the bill down to two-point-five million, but the Senate rejected that amendment.

Supporters say many hospitals are struggling with so-called “charity care”, but Ross worries that the bill may open the door to a long term commitment.

Credit Raif via Flickr

The Cheyenne Regional Medical Center will try to cut seventeen million dollars from its budget over the next two years.

"We are seeing decreased revenues coming from Medicare," says Jason Schenefield, Chief Operating Officer for Cheyenne Regional, as to why the cuts are necessary. "And things such as that which is really having us, along with hospitals around the country, trying to find ways of saving costs with declined revenues."

Schenefield also says decreased inpatient admissions is causing declining revenues.

Jasperdo via Flickr

The Chrysalis house is an addiction treatment center in Pine Bluffs with a unique mission: it provides a home for recovering women and their children.

But the program doesn’t have enough money to stay open much longer.

“We really have been very devoted to the program which is why we took on that financial risk a long time ago,” says Dr. David Birney, Executive Director of Cheyenne’s Peak Wellness Center, which operates the Chrysalis house. “At this point there just aren’t sufficient funds to support it.”

Fremont County and Lander Regional Hospital have reached a settlement in a yearlong lawsuit over unpaid bills for mental health examinations for residents who may need to be hospitalized.

The county will pay $457,000 for evaluations from 2009 to Dec. 15. Lander parent company LifePoint Hospitals had sought more than $800,000 in unpaid bills from the county. Both sides disputed how much the county owed for evaluations of patients who faced involuntary hospitalization for mental illness.