Hospital Executives’ Priority Is to Control Costs

Hospital CEOs’ top priority is to bring their costs in line with Medicare payment levels. The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) tested the waters of how its members feel about the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act by conducting an in-depth survey.  The primary finding is that hospital executives are reacting to healthcare reform by slashing expenses. Their goal is to bring their per-patient costs into line with Medicare payment levels.

Based in Chicago, the trade association for hospital and healthcare system executives, queried 539 CEOs and learned that more than 75 percent plan to cut per-patient costs.  Additionally, they intend to study means to avoid penalties for preventable readmissions over the next year as a response to the healthcare reform law.

Thomas Dolan, ACHE President and CEO, said “Hospital CEOs are actively taking steps to ensure their communities are going to benefit from the advantages offered by healthcare reform legislation.”

Approximately 72 percent of executives who took the survey plan to build closer relationships with physicians so all can benefit from incentives for care coordination, enhanced quality, patient safety and reduced costs.  Another 68 percent plan to apply for subsidies through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to purchase electronic health record systems.  Fully two-thirds are investigating ways to prevent infections and avoid penalties.  Almost 50 percent of respondents plan to look into ways to decrease the average patient stay or partner with community organizations to promote wellness.

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