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What hospitals can do to survive Medicare cuts

Posted Nov 23 2010 12:38pm

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

By Kester Freeman
Retired CEO, Palmetto Health

Recently we discussed in detail the cuts that will occur to Medicare in the coming years. You can view my recent post on that topic by clicking here .

The fact is, the hospital landscape is changing and hospitals that prepare now will be more likely to succeed. While I do feel that health systems need to oppose irrational and unreasonable cuts to Medicare , I also believe healthcare leaders need to take charge of their own destiny. Complaining about funding cuts will not help in the long run. Healthcare leaders need to work on controlling their system’s future.

Here are 4 key areas in which to focus your attention:

Patients need to be able to walk in an emergency department or doctor’s office and staff should have access to the patient’s latest medical information. In this era of medicine, this should be the norm. This is what we should all be striving for across the country. Why would we want to make some of the most important medical decisions with a lack of information?  It doesn’t make sense.

A decline in Medicare reimbursement is inevitable. This we just need to accept. We shouldn’t dwell on the aspects of reform that we cannot change. But instead, if we shift that energy to projects and improvements that we can control, our patients and medical staff will both be better off and ready for a new day in healthcare.

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