August 15, 2019

The hospitals said the decrease in charity care is mostly due to patients gaining coverage through the Affordable Care Act, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Illinois, Iowa, and Massachusetts.

  • California: California hospitals are providing significantly less free and discounted care for low-income patients since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect, according to data from California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. For instance, the data show the percentage of operating expenses hospitals dedicated toward charity care fell from 2.07% in 2013 to .85% in 2017. Health experts said the decrease in charity care is mostly due to patients gaining coverage through the ACA (Rowan, Kaiser Health News, 8/13).
  • Illinois/Iowa: UnityPoint Health-Trinity has named Robert Erickson as its next CEO, effective Sept. 23. As CEO, Erickson will oversee UnityPoint Health-Trinity's four hospitals in Illinois and Iowa. Erikson most recently served as president of Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center and was previously CEO of St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City (Vaidya, Becker's Hospital Review, 8/13).
  • Massachusetts: Boston Medical Center and Centura Health have received $50,000 grants from HealthTrust. Centura Health will use the grant to expand its virtual pharmacy service, while Boston Medical Center will use the funds to establish a network of teams dedicated to reducing medical errors and post-op complications. The grants are intended to enable the organizations to develop new ways to improve care delivery, outcomes, and operational efficiency that can later be used by other members of HealthTrust's provider network (Park, Becker's Hospital Review, 8/13).

Cheat sheet: What you need to know about the ACA

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as the ACA, is the comprehensive health care reform bill passed by Congress in March, 2010. The law reshapes the way health care is delivered and financed by transitioning providers from a volume-based fee-for-service system toward value-based care.

Download the ACA cheat sheet to get a quick overview of this significant U.S. health care legislation.

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