TALLULAH -- The Affordable Care Act has many rural hospitals like Madison Parish Hospital concerned over the changes it could bring.
"That shaky bridge across that chasm is something that we need to be smart about and not try to cross too early or wait too late because, either way, it could cost us millions of dollars," Hospital CEO, Scott Barrilleaux, said.
Unlike many other rural hospitals, Madison Parish's has been through one chaotic summer.
Barrilleaux was placed on paid administrative leave by allegations leveled by former Chief Financial Officer Barbara Tabor, then reinstated by the hospital board.
Tabor was later terminated for, as Attorney General Buddy Caldwell put it, misrepresenting the hospital's finances, then a hospital board member resigned.
All of that happened in the last four months and now the ACA's concerns are piled on.
"To be saddled with the spotlight that we're under and trying to govern and manage and make sure that we have all the proper controls in place. Everybody's looking to make sure that we pull it off and we do what we're supposed to do," said Barrilleaux.
Barrilleaux said the biggest change for the hospital will be dealing with the new rules -- which includes getting paid by quality of care not quantity of people.
"Our payments are going to be based on outcomes," he said. "Our payments are going to be based on keeping a population healthy as opposed to doing a number of procedures or diagnostic studies on a given population."
Barrilleaux said all they can do is try to take steps like bringing more efficiencies to their emergency department and watch the coming days.
"Today, we've implemented some protocols," he said. "We're looking at best practices, doing what we can to bring a new mindset into our provider community here at Madison Parish Hospital."