Hospital Executives Worry About Reform Uncertainties

Hospital executives worry about uncertainties in reform. The Washington Post reports: "Anxiety is running high among hospital executives as they ponder the ever-changing proposals on Capitol Hill. Wary of changes to payment formulas and fiercely protective of their franchise, industry groups are spending millions to lobby Congress. They also pledged $155 billion in Medicare and Medicaid savings in a deal with the White House in hopes of avoiding a deeper restructuring that could cost them more."

"Worries vary, and some institutions expect to gain more than they lose. 'Safety-net' hospitals, which treat high percentages of patients with little or no insurance, anticipate more revenue if coverage is extended to 95 percent or more of the U.S. population. ... The Obama administration says that there is significant waste in hospital care and that costs must be curbed. ... Current reform proposals would cover as many as 95 percent of Americans, a significant improvement. That suggests more money available to health-care providers and, if the theory holds, a healthier population that needs less care over time" (Slevin, 8/30).

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