Focus on Safety-Net Hospitals

Aug 6, 2012

There’s an interesting new issue out of the journal Health Affairs about the many challenges facing the nation’s “safety net” health care providers (such as big urban hospitals and others providing a  lot of so-called “uncompensated care.”). But, according to the issue’s editor, there are other stories, too:

“Meanwhile, other articles in this issue delineate the great strides that many safety-net providers have made in system integration and care coordination—in essence, preparing themselves to be leaders in delivering care and managing population health.”

As the Affordable Care Act expands access to health coverage, including to public health insurance, these hospitals may face increased demand. Are they up to it? According to one of the issue’s articles, they are. Based on key quality measures, the quality of care at “safety net” and “non-safety net” hospitals was about the same (for Medicare enrollees).

By the way, four hospitals in Rhode Island recently saw their Medicare reimbursement rates increased. More on that soon.