Many Health Systems, Pointing To Pandemic Service, Seek Rate Increases
Many health systems expect that the wave of positive publicity from their work during the pandemic may help them as they renegotiate contracts with insurers and seek to make back some of the money they lost from canceled elective procedures. But experts point out that many of these hospitals did not lose as much money as anticipated.
How COVID-19 Warped Payer-Provider Contract Negotiations
A year later, some experts believe health systems may be using their post-COVID-19 publicity glow to pressure insurers into rate increases, pointing to a rash of recent tense negotiations erupting into the public sphere. "That's something we need to watch out for the, kind of the afterglow of public support, and then the argument that 'we lost money, we need to make it up,' " said Glenn Melnick, a professor of healthcare at the University of Southern California, who conducts research on payer-provider negotiations. "I do think that we will see that this year and next." (Tepper, 5/27)
Hospital Chain Ascension Has Weathered The Pandemic Just Fine
Taxpayer bailouts and massive gains from Wall Street investments helped Ascension — the largest tax-exempt hospital system in the country — glide through the coronavirus pandemic. Dominant hospital chains like Ascension really haven't had to worry about their financial status during the pandemic, unlike smaller hospitals and safety-net systems, in part because those chains already accumulated massive rainy day funds over the years. (Herman, 5/27)