The Financial Health of Virginia’s Hospitals

As our leaders debate and maneuver over the issue of expanding Medicaid it is important to look at the financial health of the hospitals in our state since the hospitals are the largest single promoter of this proposed policy change. It is the hospitals that are among the largest employers in our state. Thus they carry influence with many legislators and the local Chambers of Commerce and other business groups. And hospitals are our refuge from fear when we are faced with a health crisis. If our hospitals generally are faced with financial difficulties should Medicaid not be expanded – as is often said in this debate – then we should be concerned. The financial health of the hospitals has become an issue because the hospitals have weighed in on the Medicaid expansion debate saying they need these federal dollars. As our elected officials debate whether to expand Medicaid to 400,000 more Virginians, it is only reasonable to see if one of the biggest advocates for this policy change the hospitals – are really in financial need.

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