Fewer providers are concerned about the expected impact that reimbursement cuts from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have on their bottom line, according to a new survey.
The survey was conducted by the Charlotte, N.C.-based Premier Inc., a purchasing organization of provider organizations. It looked at the economic and industry trends impacting alliance members and the overall industry. What they found was that while pay-for-performance penalties included in the Affordable Care Act will be an impact for providers in the next year, only 35.4 percent cited them as a major concern. This is down from 46.7 percent last year. Overall though, more providers are concerned with the impact of new care delivery models, such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and industry consolidation.
“There’s no question that reimbursement cuts put a severe strain on tight hospital budgets,” Michael J. Alkire, Premier’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “But hospitals have also made great strides in improving operational efficiency and clinical quality, which has enabled them to better manage the reductions.”
Specifically, providers are undergoing initiatives to control spending and comply with the pay-for-performance shift in reimbursement. This includes 77.5 percent who have resource utilization programs in place to better control the use of expensive supplies and purchased services and 60.8 percent who use clinical quality programs to help them reduce patient length of stay.
Moreover, more hospitals and healthcare providers are focusing on voluntary ACA programs. Twenty-six percent of respondents are looking at new care delivery and payment models such as accountable care and bundling, up from 14.3 percent a year ago. This includes going after high utilization patients (a primary cost driver for 13.4 percent of C-suite executives) and poor care coordination (a primary cost driver for 10.2 percent of respondents overall).