Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Health Care Bill HR3590 - #2085 - Cities and Counties Dumping Hospitals in Advance of Obamacare - Hot Air

Hey, maybe they just need some reeducation! Either that, or cities and counties that already have stressed budgets and limited means of raising revenues are looking to escape the vastly escalating costs of providing health care. The Wall Street Journal reports that many of these facilities are providers of last resort — the exact places where millions of new Medicaid patients would have gone for care: More than a fifth of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals are owned by governments and many are drowning in debt caused by rising health-care costs, a spike in uninsured patients, cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and payments on construction bonds sold in fatter times. Because most public hospitals tend to be solo operations, they don’t enjoy the economies of scale, or more generous insurance contracts, which bolster revenue at many larger nonprofit and for-profit systems. Local officials also predict an expensive future as new requirements—for technology, quality accounting and care coordination—start under the overhaul, which became law in March. Moody’s Investors Service said in April that many standalone hospitals won’t have the resources to invest in information technology or manage bundled payments well. Many nonprofits have bad credit ratings and in a tight credit market cannot borrow money, either. Meantime, the federal government is expected to cut aid to hospitals.  Read more........

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