Government shutdown barely affects Sparrow, hurts surrounding area

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BY: DAVID REISS

LANSING STAR STAFF WRITER

With the government shutdown, and the absence of the Affordable Care Act, Sparrow Hospital in Lansing has done well for itself compared to its surrounding area.

“Thankfully the day to day impact has not been that severe,” said Michigan Hospital Association lobbyist, Chris Mitchell. “If the shutdown went on longer and we reached the debt ceiling, the time carried out on loans would have been more difficult. That’s the worst that would have happened.”

sparrow

All over the nation, government programs and operations have either been stalled or ended as a result of the shutdown. Even though Sparrow Hospital has continued running, it has faced some challenges of its own.

“The majority of the problems we’ve faced and we’re facing now,” said John Shaski, head of government relations at Sparrow Hospital. “Have to deal with the sequester brought about in January, and the reimbursement of Medicare and Medicaid.”

According to Shaski, Sparrow’s Medicare and Medicaid have taken a two percent cut and are still being reimbursed to this day.

“Hospitals are always targeted,” said Shaski. “We’re expected to do less with less. And because of this, we took a hit voluntarily that wasn’t needed.”

The surrounding area

Even though Sparrow Hospital has turned out functional during and after the shutdown, hospitals in the surrounding area have had to cut jobs in order to cope.

“Hospitals would have been hurt more if the debt ceiling was reached,” said Mitchell. “If the ceiling was never raised hospitals would have had to take more extreme measures in order to endure.”

Even though no hospitals have completely shut down, the affects are still prevalent in the community.

“Sparrow is one of the largest employers in the mid-Michigan area,” said Shaski. “The services we supply, any hospital supplies, are indispensible. The hospitals that had to cut jobs are undoubtedly feeling the pain at the moment.”

The shutdown is over with a passing of the bill to raise the debt ceiling, and organizations across the mid-Michigan area are beginning to rebuild.

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