Obamacare Boosts Bottom Lines Of Washington Hospitals
Hospitals attribute the 30 percent reduction in uncompensated care to the expansion of Medicaid and private coverage under the federal health law. Meanwhile, insurers are pushing back against a wave of hospital mergers nationwide.
Seattle Times: Obamacare Helps Slash Hospital Charity Care Costs In State
Washington hospitals provided nearly $154 million less in charity care in the first half of this year than in the first half of 2013, in many cases boosting the hospitals’ bottom lines. Hospitals attributed the plunge in charity care -- about 30 percent -- to the Affordable Care Act’s focus on reducing the number of uninsured patients. This year, for the first time, low-income and uninsured patients whose care was previously covered under hospitals’ charity-care programs were able under the ACA to qualify for Medicaid coverage or subsidized private insurance. About 600,000 Washington residents signed up for health insurance through Medicaid under expanded eligibility guidelines or through private plans (Ostrom, 9/14).
Forbes: Insurers Fight Hospital Mergers As ACA Snubs Fee For Service Medicine
A wave of hospital mergers and acquisitions spreading across the U.S. has the health insurance industry attempting to stand in the way with legalese, Congressional lobbying and in the court of public opinion. America’s Health Insurance Plans, the powerful lobby and trade group representing the biggest names in commercial insurance appears to be leading the charge battling deals in New York, Chicago and beyond. In Chicago, Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem want to merge to form the 11th largest tax-exempt health system in the nation. The stakes are high for health insurance companies as they manage millions and millions more newly insured subscribers thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative achievement of President Obama (Jaspen, 9/14).