Obama's Health Care Proposal Worries Hospitals

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Oct. 3, 2011 12:00 am  

Betsy Ryan, the New Jersey Hospital Association's president and CEO, also warned of what further cuts would do to hospitals.

"We can't continue to chip away at the very foundation of our health care system by continually cutting Medicare and Medicaid," Ryan said in a July 13 news release.
"The impact will be felt not only by Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, but by anyone who counts on access to quality health care in their community."

Ray Montgomery, the president and CEO of the White County Medical Center in Searcy, said he hadn't studied how Obama's proposal might affect his hospital.

But Montgomery said cuts tied to the $155 billion plan would hurt the hospital.

Starting in 2014 and continuing through 2019, White County expects to see about $19 million less in revenue from reimbursements, Montgomery said.

Montgomery said that White County Medical Center was projecting a loss of reimbursements of between $5 million and $7 million annually through 2019.
And if more cuts occurred, "that would just be staggering," he said.

The Arkansas Hospital Association's Cunningham said hospitals in Arkansas were projected to lose about $1.4 billion in reimbursements during the next decade as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

But he isn't sure what the impact will be because more people will have insurance - if the legal challenges to the health care reform laws are upheld.

‘Subject to Change'
UAMS Medical Center also fears more cuts, said Dan Riley, the center's chief financial officer. He said, however, that it was too early to tell what exactly Obama's plan would mean for UAMS' hospital if the cuts were approved.

"We feel there's going to be cuts in all revenue streams," Riley said. "It's just a matter of how deep they are and what form or fashion they come in, which right now is still subject to change."



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