Help me Charlie!

As reported earlier this week, Harvard Pilgrim CEO Charlie Baker is busy trying to encourage patients to go to less expensive community hospitals rather than heading to Partners and Caregroup hospitals in Boston. Now the community hospitals are sounding the alarm with the release of a new study by their trade group. According to the article (Community hospitals struggling, study finds):

  • The balance of power is shifting toward the big teaching hospitals
  • Teaching hospitals are drawing 50 percent of admissions as of 2003, compared to 35 percent 10 years earlier. That’s more than double the national average
  • Costs are $3.8B/year higher than they could be if community hospitals were used more
  • Bargaining power is down, so payments from plans and Medicaid are lower than they should be (what do you say, Charlie?)

The teaching hospitals argue that they provide excellent care and that they serve as community hospitals for a large population in Boston that includes many poor and uninsured.

October 21, 2005

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