March 8, 2013

Getting It Straight

Rich Umbdenstock, AHA President and CEO

Did you know that a quarter of American hospitals operate in the red? That's a problem. Hospitals that lack a positive operating margin also lack the funds they need to invest in electronic health records and other technologies that will allow their patients to receive the latest care. And this is just one example of the not-so-obvious challenges and complexities of the reality within which hospitals operate. The media often simplifies the story and creates misperceptions. We've tried to set the record straight on several items in a recent story. But it's important to remember that a system subject to 130,000 pages of Medicare regulations and the requirements of 1,300 private payers can't be adequately explained in simple terms. Hospitals are creating the future with better care, slowing costs and better coordination and communication with patients. We'll keep touting your incredible success in tough circumstances, even if some in the media don't.


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