Increasing Health Costs Hurt Coverage Of Medical Workers, Too
Even members of the health industry are feeling the pain of increasing health costs as they insure their employees, according to the Detroit News. "To combat rising costs, major health organizations are trimming medical benefits, tacking on surcharges for smoking and passing more out-of-pocket costs onto workers. Nurses, technicians and hospital workers are paying higher copayments and deductibles.
For many health providers, these cost-containing moves come out of necessity. They, too, have seen business taper off as a result of the recession, with many of their own patients losing coverage because of job losses."
The hospitals and health groups interviewed by the newspaper were attempting to control costs by rewarding healthy lifestyles, and managing care better for employees with chronic conditions. Even so, some medical groups are worried that costs will grow out of control even for those providing medical care: "Given that health organizations -- like hospitals -- already tend to make slim profit margins, the ongoing erosion of the bottom line isn't sustainable," [Randy Fuller, a director at the Healthcare Financial Management Association, a trade group for financial executives in health care] said" (Rogers, 3/2).
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