Hospitals' Financial Woes

August 13, 1999 • Volume 9, Issue 30
Are cuts in Medicare reimbursements to blame?
By Adriel Bettelheim

Introduction

Many hospital administrators blame their financial problems on cuts in Medicare reimbursements. (Photo Credit: Corbis Images)
Many hospital administrators blame their financial problems on cuts in Medicare reimbursements. (Photo Credit: Corbis Images)

America's hospitals are facing a financial crisis. Deeper-than-expected cuts to Medicare reimbursements combined with financial pressures from managed care have led to a wave of mergers and consolidations. Hospital administrators have scaled back expensive services like home health visits and say they are pondering more cuts. The industry is hoping Congress will restore some of the Medicare spending that helped them treat elderly patients. But critics contend that the hospitals brought many of the problems on themselves by expanding too rapidly and buying physician practices and health-care businesses. Among those nervously watching the future are academic medical centers, which provide the bulk of the nation's charity care, and small rural hospitals, which are more sensitive to financial turbulence.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Hospitals
Nov. 21, 2014  Reforming Veterans' Health Care
Feb. 10, 2012  Patient Safety
Aug. 13, 1999  Hospitals' Financial Woes
Jul. 18, 1986  For-Profit Hospitals
Nov. 14, 1980  The Hospice Movement
Jan. 16, 1963  Problems of the Hospitals
Nov. 17, 1948  Financial Problems of Voluntary Hospitals
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Hospitals
Medicaid and Medicare
Medicaid and Medicare