CINCINNATI — Teaching hospitals are on the front lines when it comes to treating the poor and uninsured – and with proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid funding – they question how they will be able to adequately perform their mission.
The Senate bill, for example, proposes a 75% cut in disproportionate-share payments – or DSH payments – to safety net hospitals like University Hospital in Cincinnati.
Safety net hospitals receive roughly $10 billion per year in DSH payments from Medicare.
“I don’t think the teaching hospitals are going to get a proportionate drop of 75% in the patients that come through our doors,” said Lee Ann Liska, executive director and senior vice president of University Hospital.
Liska suggests that the many clinics the hospital provides throughout the community might have to be cut to adjust for the loss in funding.
“That’s an area where we lose a lot of money and we may have to seriously look at it,” Liska said.
One solution might be the creation of “Medical Homes.”
A medical home, says Liska, offers more preventative care so patients are less likely to need emergency care at a hospital.
Reported by: Jay Warren
Copyright 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.