KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Hospitals Could See Windfall From Overhaul; Obama Calls For Doctors’ Support

Hospitals may get billions of dollars in profit from a health care overhaul deal while President Obama asks doctors to promote health care fix.

Bloomberg reports: "Hospitals may gain as much as $16 billion over a decade from the Obama administration's proposals to overhaul the health-care system, according to a previously undisclosed analysis by the American Hospital Association. Community Health Systems Inc., HCA Inc. and other hospital groups would receive $171 billion over 10 years in reimbursements for the newly insured under legislation to provide medical coverage for all U.S. citizens, the AHA said in a report to industry and lawmakers. The benefit would more than offset $155 billion in proposed cost cuts during the same period that hospitals promised in a deal with the White House."

"Hospitals agreed to the gradual reduction of $50 billion in government payments they receive for treating the uninsured. Another $2 billion in cuts would be made assuming the number of patients being readmitted to hospitals would fall because of procedural changes pushed by the administration. Another $103 billion would come from reduced payments from Medicare, the government's program for the elderly and disabled" (Gaouette, 8/26).

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports: "The White House is asking doctors to help promote its drive to overhaul health care, marking an effort by President Barack Obama to regain momentum on the issue. White House health advisers held an hour long conference call Tuesday night with close to 3,000 physicians and officials of their professional groups in which they tried drumming up support by answering questions and describing the administration's goals, participants said" (Fram, 8/26).

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