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To stay fiscally healthy, CA hospitals want fewer patients

Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2012

To survive the unprecedented challenges coming with federal healthcare reform, California hospitals are upending their bedrock financial model: They are trying to keep some patients out of their beds. Experts say more will be treated in clinics and doctors' offices than in hospitals. And when they are admitted, their hospital stays could be shorter. The federal reform law changes the way hospitals and doctors will be paid. Hospitals that don't adapt may have to eliminate services or close their doors, according to the California Hospital Association. Already, the state has fewer hospital beds per capita and shorter hospital stays than the national average.