Proposed Medicare Bill Would Affect Just One Nevada Hospital

Most hospitals in Nevada would have to accept Medicare if a bill working its way through the state Legislature passes.

The bill would require most hospitals — it does not include psychiatric, rural or critical-access hospitals — to operate as Medicare providers. Medicare is a government health insurance program that covers people age 65 and over and the disabled.

There’s only one such hospital in Nevada, however, that doesn’t accept Medicare: Elite Medical Center, a hospital near the Las Vegas Strip.

Mike Draper, a lobbyist for Elite, said no Medicare patients are turned away in emergencies. If the patient can’t pay, the hospital doesn’t charge them, he said.

If a case isn’t an emergency, the hospital discusses options with the patient, which may include recommending another hospital, Draper said.

A nearly identical measure was scheduled to come before the Clark County Commission on Feb. 19 but was postponed and has not been picked up since.


Las Vegas Sun