The government is not going to increase its reimbursement rates, says Stuart Altman, PhD. "There's a general feeling that the gap is about as wide as it can go."
After years of working on the federal level, Stuart Altman, PhD, a Brandeis University healthcare economist, is now head of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. In the second of a two-part conversation, he talks about issues facing community hospitals.
HLM: You said that cost-shifting is over, that patients and private payers can no longer bear the costs of what hospitals say are shortfalls in government spending. Can you talk about how that might play out?
ALTMAN: Everyone is trying to function in this new world because they think it is the right thing to do. There is also fear that if inflation were to really jump out again, these systems couldn't afford it anymore.
Tinker Ready is a contributing writer at HealthLeaders Media.