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Yuma Regional Medical Center not ready for more patients

EDITOR'S NOTE: YRMC reached out to News 11 to clarify some of the information detailed in this report. The hospital had the following details it would like to clarify. 

 1. We have not treated 300,000 migrants. I believe he was referring to the number of migrants who have crossed the border in our area.  

2.  We are always ready to care for anyone who needs emergency care. We are not struggling to care for patients due to high volumes. In the clip, Dr. Trenschel was speaking to the past surge of migrants and winter visitors. This is not our current state.

3.  We are not 26 million in debt. We have $26 million in uncompensated care.

YUMA, Ariz. (CBS, KYMA/KECY) - "Since the lifting of Title 42, we haven't seen the surge come through our doors yet," said Dr. Robert Trenschel, President and CEO of the Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC).

Trenschel said even if there had been a surge, they wouldn't be ready for it because they're still dealing with the previous increase in migrants seeking hospital care.

"The winter months are particularly strained because that's when our winter visitors are here as well, and you combine that with the migrant surge and it was not a sustainable model to have a payer source," Trenschel added.

The hospital estimates it has treated about 300,000 migrants from December 2021 up to last November, but weren't able to bill them, resulting in more than $25 million in medical debt.

"We had the increased cost of agency staff to deal with the increased volume, and there is no payer source to help offset that cost," Trenschel explained.

Hospital recently qualified for reimbursement

Trenschel says now the hospital recently qualified to get reimbursement for a portion of that care it provided.

"It'll cover some emergency care and pregnancies...That's not the bulk of what comes through our door, but to get some relief is helpful," Trenschel described.

He says people who already live in Yuma are now feeling the effects, with Trenschel adding, "Sometimes people do have a longer wait if we have a large group of patients coming into the emergency room or in labor and delivery."

Over the past week, several Yuma city leaders have written letters to President Biden, requesting the federal government step in. Trenschel included.

"We're ok financially today and we'll be ok financially tomorrow. Our concern is that this is not a sustainable model," Trenschel exclaimed.

Article Topic Follows: Yuma County

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