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Hospital Advocacy Group Outlines Future Challenges

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The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, an advocacy organization, has outlined how the fiscal cliff, deficit reduction, tax cuts and the Affordable Care Act could impact Pennsylvania's hospitals as they strive to meet financial demands while providing quality care to patients and communities.  

Senior Vice President Michael Strazzella said his group supported the Affordable Care Act, which can now move forward since President Obama’s re-election, but its implementation presents challenges to the many hospitals already struggling with past cuts.  "In Pennsylvania, hospitals are expected to see about $7.5 billion in payment reductions as a result of not only the Affordable Care Act, but also changes that we're going to have to move forward in trying to change the delivery system."

Strazzella said Pennsylvania has 1.4 million uninsured, who typically put off seeking medical care until their conditions are more costly to address, so covering 600,000 of those uninsured with the Affordable Care Act should reduce health care costs.  Also, serving fewer uninsured patients should reduce uncompensated care costs to hospitals.  

Strazzella said his members contribute $100 billion a year and 600,000 jobs to the state's economy, but further cuts to Medicare could jeopardize nearly 37,400 jobs in the state.  A 2% reduction in federal spending if the country goes off the fiscal cliff would cost the state $144 million in 2013 alone and $1.4 billion over the next nine years--on top of the $7.5 billion mentioned above.  

More information is available on the HAP website.

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