ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona hospital out more than $26M after providing medical care to migrant patients

Mar 2, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 10:01 am

PHOENIX —  The only hospital within 180 miles of the Yuma area felt a surge of its own as migrants who crossed the southern border have racked up more than $26 million in medical bills over a year.

Robert Trenschel, president and CEO of the Yuma Regional Medical Center, said it’s critical his hospital finds a payer source for the migrants needing medical care.

Trenschel explained the migrants who come into the hospital arrive with various issues from bruises to bowel obstructions, but the largest group is maternity patients.

“We’ve had a significant number of maternity patients cross the border, but when the peak was happening, we would get up to five a day in our maternity unit. We only have a seven-bed area to do triage and see those individuals,” Trenschel said.

Trenschel added that many of the women coming into the hospital have not received any prenatal care, leading to most of the babies being born very ill.

“You never want to separate mom and baby, so we would either have mom stay extra days in the hospital or we would have them go to a hotel in the area and pay for transportation back and forth,” Tresnchel said, adding the hospital also pays for the hotel.

The increase of migrants at the hospital has also led to many non-urgent procedures being postponed.

“Any planned inductions or any planned elective procedures wind up getting put on hold while you’re dealing with more acute patients, which were, in this case, the migrants coming through the doors,” said Trenschel.

The surge of patients has also become taxing on hospital employees because the migrant patients require three times the resources, according to Trenschel.

“It takes us 10 hours about to resolve a case and give a patient, a resident, a discharge. It took us up to 30 hours of case management time to resolve a migrant case and get them a safe discharge,” said Trenschel.

Trenschel stresses the hospital takes pride in caring for everyone who walks through its door but explains it has become an unstainable business model. He adds the concern of the possible end of Title 42 continues to loom over him and hospital staff.

“The other concern is if Title 42 goes away and we get another migrant surge like we’ve had in the past … I don’t know what to think at that point,” Trenschel said.

Trenschel said he’s met with both Arizona U.S. senators and former Gov. Doug Ducey, and has had extensive conversations with Medicaid about the rising medical bills.

“Everybody is sympathetic and lends a listening ear, but nobody really has a solution,” Trenschel said.

At a press conference, Gov. Katie Hobbs told reporters she spoke with local leaders regarding migrant care at the Yuma medical center during her Monday trip to the border.

“Certainly, something we’re advocating for these federal dollars to help support with where they can,” Hobbs said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

KTAR.com

Man riding motorized scooter dead after being hit by vehicle in downtown Phoenix

A local man riding a motorized scooter died on Friday evening after he was struck by a vehicle in downtown Phoenix.

2 hours ago

Follow @KTAR923...

KTAR.com

Lane Park brings bowling, ice curling, more to Old Town Scottsdale

Lane Park, a new upscale entertainment venue in Old Town Scottsdale, is now open. The spaces features games, music, food, drinks and more.

4 hours ago

The Wildcat Fire burning north of the Valley and west of the Bartlett Lake Reservoir. (Inciweb Phot...

KTAR.com

Firefighters nearing full containment on Wildcat Fire burning north of Phoenix

Firefighters are nearing full containment on the Wildcat Fire burning north of Phoenix. The fire is 84% contained as of Saturday morning.

7 hours ago

Sewer line piping near the Ocotillo Water Reclamation Facility will be rehabilitated over the next ...

Damon Allred

City of Chandler to begin sewer line rehabilitation along Price Road this summer

Chandler City Council awarded service agreements on Friday that will ensure the rehabilitation of sewer line piping along Price Road.

8 hours ago

Salt River Flats: Phoenix affordable housing development opens...

Serena O'Sullivan

Maricopa County opens Salt River Flats development in south Phoenix

Maricopa County officials celebrated the grand opening of Salt River Flats, which has nearly 200 affordable housing units, on Thursday.

9 hours ago

Federal Pizza, which opened in uptown Phoenix more than a decade ago, is set to expand in 2025. (Gr...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Federal Pizza joins tenant lineup for Paradise Valley Mall renovation

Upward’s Federal Pizza will open a second location in the upcoming Paradise Valley Mall renovation project.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Arizona hospital out more than $26M after providing medical care to migrant patients