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Yuma Regional Medical Center faces end of Title 42

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) has seen a significant number of migrants seeking medical care since the start of the border crisis, causing the hospital to lose millions of dollars. 

But since the lifting of Title 42, the hospital’s president and CEO says he hasn’t seen the surge come through the hospital’s doors yet.

From December 2021 to November 2022, Yuma Regional Medical Center says it provided $26 million of uncompensated migrant care. 

But now, since the expiration of Title 42, things are looking different.

Yuma’s Border Patrol Chief says almost 900 migrants crossed into the Yuma Sector per day last week, and YRMC says only one to two of those, per day, are seeing migrant care.

“There hasn’t been a lot of impact on the hospital, one two migrants a day maybe. So the impact that we’ve experienced so far has not been great,” said YRMC President and CEO, Dr. Robert Trenschel.

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

“Last year was much more significant. We’re not seeing those numbers right now,” said Trenschel.

Trenschel says last year the hospital cared for migrants without compensation, which was an unsustainable model to continue running on.

“Because of the winter influx, we get of visitors, you know we’re prepared for large surges in necessary patient care, we usually do that through agency. The issue is that when you have agency for those types of surges you have a payer source,” said Trenschel.

But now, after working with state and federal leaders, the hospital has qualified to get reimbursement for a portion of the care it provided.

“We’re thankful for senators Kelly and Sinema and Governor Hobbs, her office, all working with Medicare to at least find us a partial payer source,” said Trenschel.

Doctor Trenschel says he hopes things continue moving in the right direction.

“Now we’re early in the game and hopefully that continues but we don’t know if that’s going to be the case, either way we will be prepared and provide care for all patients that come through our doors,” said Trenschel.

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Samantha Byrd

Samantha Byrd joined the KYMA team as a reporter in February 2022.

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