2008 AHA Policy Research
AHA research reports examine key issues to inform the policy making process. These include the TrendWatch series, a periodic AHA publication that reports on the latest trends affecting hospitals and the health care system (now conducted in collaboration with Avalere Health* www.avalerehealth.net), as well as other AHA sponsored studies.
Hospital & Physician Cost Shift: Payment Level Comparison of Medicare, Medicare, Medicaid, and Commercial Payers (pdf), December 2008
Low Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals and physicians lead to significantly higher health insurance costs for consumers and employers, according to a study released by Milliman Inc. The report found that annual health care spending for an average family of four is $1,788 higher than it would be if Medicare, Medicaid and private employers paid hospitals and physicians similar rates, with total provider reimbursement unchanged.
Redundant, Inconsistent and Excessive: Administrative Demands Overburden Hospitals (pdf), TrendWatch, August 2008
Hospital managers strive to run high-performance health care organizations that deliver the best quality care to their patients. Beyond the mission of providing quality care, hospitals also must comply with government regulators’, payers’ and other stakeholders’ ever-growing administrative requirements. Such activities are increasingly diverting precious resources away from patient care and contributing to making health care less affordable.
The Costs of Caring: Sources of Growth in Spending for Hospital Care (pdf), August 2008 Update
Much of the increase in spending on hospital care reflects advances in medicine that ultimately result in improved outcomes, longer life expectancy, and a better quality of life. However, alternative measures of what we are getting for our health care dollar could help us develop better tools to contain spending growth.
Beyond Health Care: The Economic Contribution of Hospitals (pdf), TrendWatch, April 2008 Update
Hospitals play a critical role in the health of Americans, but few people are aware of the economic and community benefits hospitals provide. Hospitals employ more than 5 million people and represent the second largest source of private sector jobs. But the impact of hospitals doesn’t stop there. Hospitals and hospital employees purchase goods and services from other businesses creating additional jobs and economic activity. Hospitals also provide an array of special programs to help communities meet broader health and social needs.
Physician Ownership and Self-referral in Hospitals: Research on Negative Effects Grows (pdf), TrendWatch, April 2008
This TrendWatch provides a compilation of the growing body of research on physician ownership and self-referral in the hospital setting. Issues addressed include: growth trends, impact on utilization and costs, quality and efficiency, and the effect of the patient selection practices of these facilities on patient access to care and the ability of community hospitals to maintain their mission.