Growing number of Medicaid patients reducing costs to hospitals

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Photo: University of Colorado Hospital doctors on roundsColorado is among the 26 states that have opened up Medicaid to more people under the Affordable Care Act, and as a result, hospitals in Colorado are seeing fewer uninsured patients, according to a new study by the Colorado Hospital Asociation.

That's good for hospitals' bottom lines, the study finds, because on average they're not providing as much uncompensated care as they did previously. The number of Coloradans on Medicaid increased by about 30 percent because of the expansion.

The same study found that on average, hospitals in the other 25 states that expanded their Medicaid eligibility have also saved money by doing less "charity care" compared with previous years.