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Hospital Revenue Sources Reach Dubious Milestone

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, January 4, 2013

Though there's nuance associated with the figures, those are staggering statistics simply because they confirm that more and more of hospitals' operating income in the future will be coming from government sources, and the commercially insured will be less and less able to subsidize relatively poor reimbursements from government sources.

Not that you aren't already aware of that, but it figures to get much worse. In fact, arguably one of the bigger groups of losers in the recent negotiations over the fiscal cliff was hospitals, which face additional payment reductions that they likely haven't planned for.

That means you have to pay increasing attention (I bet you think you couldn't possibly pay more attention) to what Congress does to reimbursement and what the rest of the federal and state regulatory bureaucracies do to those government-sourced reimbursements.

We're currently at $16 trillion in national debt and counting. Even governments that control the world's reserve currency have to pay attention to that. Don't they?

As we approach yet another likely Congressional stalemate surrounding whether to increase that roughly $16 trillion debt ceiling—since that was not resolved during the recent last-minute bargaining to avert the fiscal cliff—you can bet that hospitals, and healthcare in general, will face increasing scrutiny and will present an attractive target for lawmakers going forward.

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1 comments on "Hospital Revenue Sources Reach Dubious Milestone"


Marion G. Kruse (1/12/2013 at 10:26 AM)
What's even more scary is how few individuals (relative to enrollees) are working and paying taxes to support the Obama Care agenda. That's the real fiscal cliff!! The book "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand should become mandatory reading for every U.S. citizen. The book "explores a dystopian United States where many of society's most productive citizens refuse to be exploited by increasing taxation and government regulations and go on strike. The refusal evokes the imagery of what would happen if the mythological Atlas refused to continue to hold up the world" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged). Based on where the United States is heading, maybe the book should be reclassified as non-fiction!