Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hospitals may turn down reimbursement for care of underground expatriates

The Nashville City Paper reports that Nashville hospitals aren't sure whether they want to chase federal money that requires them to interview patients about their immigration status and jump through other hoops to collect the money. The funds are designed to reimburse hospitals for emergency care of underground expatriates.

"'Hospitals don’t want to be in the immigration business,' said Jeff Prescott, spokesman for the Nashville-headquartered HCA Inc."

"Prescott said the regulations require hospitals to follow rules in requesting information from illegal aliens. Facilities then must undertake a precise reimbursement process."

"'We are evaluating the new regulations and will request clarification to determine if it is worth the cost to implement,' he said."

A Vanderbilt Hospital official said that the total money allotted to Tennessee is $1 million, of which Vanderbilt might be able to collect so small a share that the funds may not be worth pursuing.

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