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J Hosp Mark. 1991;6(1):109-19.

Hospital CEOs' priorities and perceptions regarding industry issues and the Virginia Hospital Association's activities.

Author information

1
School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Abstract

Based on a survey of Virginia hospital CEOs, it was revealed that four industry issues are causing a high degree of concern, namely Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement policies, personnel shortages, indigent care, and increased operating expenses. Each of these issues will be discussed regarding the VHA's activities to devise possible solutions. Regarding Medicare, the VHA has worked closely with the American Hospital Association in their federal advocacy efforts encouraging members to write, call, and visit their Congressional representatives to persuade them to pass legislation increasing the Medicare budget. Regarding Medicaid, which is administered by each state and in Virginia involves a 50/50 sharing of the funding between the federal and state governments, the VHA has challenged what it believes to be an illegal hospital reimbursement system through the federal judicial system. While the process is continuing, the VHA is encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision (July 1990) affirming hospitals' and all other health care providers' right, to pursue via the judicial process their allegation that a state is violating federal law by setting inadequate and inequitable Medicaid reimbursement rates to hospitals. In order to address the personnel shortages issue, the VHA has actively addressed recruitment and retention challenges by establishing a Health Manpower Resource Center and hiring a full-time director. This office targets high school students, second-career adults, and current health care professionals through communication and education programs. The area of indigent care represents one of the VHA's most notable achievements to date. This entails the recent Virginia legislation creating the Indigent Care Trust Fund. This fund's initial amount is some $15 million and represents an approximate 60/40 contribution ratio involving both the State of Virginia and hospitals in Virginia. A formula has been developed for each hospital in Virginia to assess how sensitive they are to indigent care patients, which includes patients who are either in households whose annual income is below the federal poverty level and/or patients who do not have health care insurance. Those Virginia hospitals who are less sensitive to indigent care will contribute to this fund, while those who have more exposure to indigent care patients will be reimbursed from it. Legislation will be proposed to the state legislature to broaden the contributory base to the Indigent Care Trust Fund by requiring employers who do not currently offer health care insurance to their employees to also contribute to the fund. Reimbursements from the fund to Virginia hospitals are scheduled to begin in FY 1991.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

PMID:
10116628
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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