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Healthcare Reform’s Impact: Staff and Service Cuts Expected

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The newest HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Report, Reform’s Impact: Staff and Service Cuts Expected, reveals that only 40% of healthcare senior executives who completed the survey believe the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will result in better access to healthcare services, despite the fact that many pundits insists that access will be the only element of healthcare that PPACA will improve. Fully 72% believe the law will lead to increased utilization of health services.

The 2011 Reform Readiness Survey was conducted by the HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Unit, powered by the HealthLeaders Media Council. It is part of a monthly series of Thought Leadership studies. In September 2011, an online survey was sent to the HealthLeaders Media Council. Respondents work in hospital, health system, physician organization, health plan/insurer, long-term care, ancillary, and allied providers settings. A total of 264 completed surveys are included in the analysis.

The survey results reflect on the respondents heavy dependence on inpatient care and reimbursement at their hospitals or health systems that are expected to decrease, while outpatient care will increase as more previously uninsured move towards accessing care in locations other than the ER.

Marty Manning, president of Advocate Physician Partners, Chicago and lead report advisor stated, “the real fear is that you have reductions in utilization and unit price at the same time. That’s the double whammy that could really make it unsustainable for us as a provider organizations. So we are very much looking at ACO models as the way to get back some of the savings that would otherwise taken out of utilization.

Despite healthcare providers seeking ways to take advantage of the new model  by becoming early adopters, 32 percent  of respondents feel the ACO concept, regardless of model will fail, while another 36 percent believe a commercial model, either current or developed in the future will succeed.

Marty also stated, “the law is very heavily consumer-focused, and there is virtually nothing in it about benefit design change or patient responsibility because that’s the political third rail. That’s really the missing piece. And it’s still basically an open checkbook to get whatever service you want on demand wherever you want it.

Some of the key highlights of the report include:

  •     72% of leaders believe PPACA will increase utilization of health services
  •     But 43% say they have or will cut services because of reform
  •     And 55% think it will mean staff reductions at their facility
  •     66% say dealing with the overall effects of PPACA will be difficult or very difficult for their organization
  •     57% of respondents think that the law will more closely align them to their physicians
  •     37%  believe believe it will increase efficiency, while 50% believe efficiency will decrease under law
  •    67% believe ICD-10 implementation will be difficult or very difficult to implement

Produced with support from Optum, this comprehensive industry intelligence report is available for free download at

Do you feel the PPACA will improve healthcare services? Will the ACO model fail or succeed? What other models do you feel are more beneficial than ACO?


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