Some Hospitals Turn Profit by Shifting Medicare Losses to Commercial Payers, Says Study
"These are big public policy questions," Darling says. "As a nation, how should we be paying hospitals? If we think they're not working on efficiency because they don't have to, perhaps because they can pass the cost onto someone else, it's a hidden tax."
She added, "As Congress and the President try to find solutions to the healthcare crisis we have to find ways to make the health industry more efficient. We can't just cover millions of more people without a laser-like focus on controlling costs, which Warren Buffett refers to as a tapeworm destroying our financial success."
Elliott S. Fisher, MD, director of Population Health and Policy for the Dartmouth Institute, said research focuses on reducing unnecessary hospital stays.
"This important study from NBGH confirms that communities that are able to care for Medicare patients with fewer hospitalizations are able to do the same for their under-65 population. But to slow the growth of spending, we also need to address the problem of prices."
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
- How Top-Ranked MA Plans Earn Their Stars
- WellPoint Dominates Nearly Half of Markets, AMA Says
- CMS Offers Some ACOs $114M for 'Upfront' Costs
- How Hospitals Can Become 'Upstreamists'
- Ebola: Second TX Nurse Diagnosed After Improper Protective Gear Application
- Providers Ask HHS to Address EHR Interoperability Barriers
- 5 Digital Marketing Efforts Every Hospital Should Try
- 16 Medicare Advantage Plans Earn 5-Star Ratings
- Ebola: A Call for Designated Hospitals
- The Drug Price Reform Debate