Penobscot Valley Hospital and Health Access Network joined forces on October 25 to host a Legislative Forum at PVH where attendees learned about national, statewide and local trends in healthcare.
On the national front, the group reviewed the 2015 National Center for Rural Health Works’ Study reporting that “increasing costs and decreasing volumes combined with federal reimbursement and sequestration cuts have rural hospitals confronting difficult financial challenges. Fifty-five rural hospitals have closed since 2010 with another 283 estimated to be financially at risk.”
Statewide, the Maine Hospital Association Overview reported that “bad debt and charity care remain high. Private employers are pushing employees into high-deductible plans and those workers can’t afford the deductibles. Things will not improve any time soon.”
Together PVH and HAN employ over 300 people in the area. According to the US Bureau of Economic Advancement, the hospital alone contributes over $50 million each year into the statewide economy, making healthcare a very strong industry in the local economy.
Photo caption: Local legislators, town managers and council members talk healthcare issues with board and leadership teams from Penobscot Valley Hospital and Health Access Network.