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Top 10 Hospital Contracting Priorities

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, August 22, 2012

Despite all the talk about long-range goals to achieve affordable and accountable care, hospitals set very short-term goals when it comes to their contracting priorities with health plans. Hospitals are more concerned with increasing their reimbursement rates and limiting claims denials than they are with developing bundled payments or ACOs, according to survey results.

The annual survey was commissioned by ReviveHealth, a Nashville-based public relations firm that focuses on healthcare, but is performed by Monigle Associates, a Denver-based branding research firm. The survey captured responses from more than 400 hospital and health system CEOs, CFOs, and payer relations executives who negotiate managed care contracts with national health insurance companies such as Aetna and Cigna.

Insurers don't like the survey because it generates a few attention-getting favorability ratings about the health insurer (WellPoint) that hospitals and health systems love to hate. That's the story that has gained the most media attention.  It's too bad, because a deeper dive  uncovers some real meat regarding the often contentious relationship between hospitals and health insurers.

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