Unknowns for Hospitals Under Health Care Reform

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A big unknown for Nevada hospitals under the federal health care reform law is compensation for costs incurred for treating indigent patients.

Hospitals currently received money under the Medicaid program to help cover such costs.

But Health and Human Services Director Mike Willden told an Assembly panel on Wednesday that the national pool of available funds will be cut over time, as more people are either covered by Medicaid or required to have their own insurance.

Willden says the theory is that with more people being insured, there will be less uncompensated costs.

But it's unknown exactly how that will play out.

Nevada's share is expected to be cut in half, from around $47 million received in 2012 to $24 million by 2019.