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Current state of hospitals examined PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kyle Arnoldy   

Before being able to provide the best possible care for patients, understanding the current state of hospitals in the country is a must.

At the Monday, March 24 East Phillips County Hospital District meeting, board members discussed threats to hospitals, possible options and insurance issues while looking at a recent American Hospital Association legislative update.

One of the biggest vulnerabilities hospitals across the country are facing is that Medicare has been used as a piggy bank in the past to pay for other programs. Melissa Memorial Hospital Administrator John Ayoub noted his belief that doing this is not a long-term solution if Medicare is to remain viable.

In the search to save money, a number of proposed reductions are on the table for hospitals. One reduction that is expected to save roughly $30.8 billion is the hospital bad-debt reductions. Ayoub stated that a few years ago, 100 percent of Medicare bad-debt was paid for through the cost report.

During the last big cost consolidation, in order to stave off a fiscal cliff, payment percentage dropped from 100 to 85 percent and next year will continue to drop to 65 percent. There is talk of removing the program altogether, dropping next year’s planned 65 percent to 0 percent.

“That has significant financial impact on our organization,” Ayoub said.

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Holyoke Enterprise March 27, 2014