Jason Dinger, CEO of MissionPoint Health Partners in Nashville—an ACO affiliated with Ascension member Saint Thomas Health—is optimistic about the possibility of seeing an increase in the insured population in his region, which could translate into more revenue in the future.
"We believe there will be a number of currently uninsured folks that are going to sign up given the low barrier to entry for the plans. The price points are very competitive, and we think we'll see an increase in volume and in coverage for the traditionally uninsured population," he says.
Although hospitals and health systems have to wait and see how they fare as the exchange products roll out, Ascension's executives say they are taking steps now to educate their communities on the different plans because it could prove costly if patients believe they have more coverage than they actually do.
Paula Campbell, senior vice president and CFO at Austin, TX–based Seton Healthcare Family, says the probability of patients not understanding their plan is "absolutely a concern."
To mitigate the potential negative impact, Seton is working with its collaborative of community healthcare providers to offer enrollment assistance and is currently determining a plan for how to allocate resources to its education efforts.