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Obamacare, Medicare blamed for U.S. hospital admissions weakest numbers in a decade

2:42 pm by | 2 Comments

Nurse at hospital nursing care

(Reuters) - U.S. hospital admissions in November were the weakest in more than a decade, under pressure from a change in reimbursement rules for Medicare patients and confusion tied to the problem-ridden rollout of Obamacare, according to a survey by Citi Research.

New billing rules for the Medicare program for the elderly and disabled require hospitals to treat patient stays lasting less than "two midnights" as an outpatient visit.

"In addition, it is reasonable to conclude that the cumulative impact of changing physician employment and payment models is beginning to play a role, as well as the paralyzing effect of the impotent Obamacare rollout," Citi analyst Gary Taylor said in a report.

Hospital inpatient admissions in November fell to their weakest level in more than a decade, based on responses to the bank's monthly survey of 98 hospitals, Taylor said.

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In October and November combined, admissions were down 4 to 5 percent from a year ago, which will likely weigh on hospital operators' fourth-quarter earnings and 2014 forecasts, he said.

Shares of hospital operators, which have climbed throughout the year on an expected increase in demand for healthcare when the health reform law kicks in, slumped on Tuesday afternoon. HCA Holdings Inc fell 2.9 percent to $45.81, Community Health Systems Inc declined 2.9 percent to $38.11, and Tenet Healthcare Corp was down 1.9 percent at $39.80.

(Reporting by Susan Kelly in Chicago; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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2 comments
edmondsoncynthia
edmondsoncynthia

I think republican governors shafted their states and still have a lot of uninsured people.  Their rates were excessively high as well because they were forced to the Federal site exchanges.  The federal exchanges were unable to negotiate rates for those states that didn't implement the ACA exchanges.  That can only be done at the state level.  I think even more people would have enrolled had their Governors cared enough about them to implement their exchanges.  But........politics before people's healthcare was what those governors have in mind.  Georgia alone has 600,000 that want healthcare but remain uninsured.  He also cost his state 72 thousand jobs with an unemployment rate of 7.8 and 4 hospitals have completely shut down because he didn't implement the medicaid expansion.  Hopefully, he will begin to listen to his people and not his party.

changg
changg

What's the impact of readmissions penalty on reduced admissions?  Also, are there an any initial results about the impact on actual patient health that indicates reductions in admissions is a bad thing for parties other than hospitals and physicians?

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