Local health care officials are wracked with uncertainty because of President-elect
The increases at
Gundersen's increase is its lowest in 19 years, continuing its trend of declining rate hikes tracing back to 1998, according to a Gundersen statement. The rise is a half-percent smaller than last year's, the statement said. During the previous 18 years, the drop in the hike had been one-tenth of a percent.
Mayo's 4 percent hike is a half-percent over its most recent increase of 3.5 percent on
Drug cost escalation blamed
Ballooning drug expenses are one of the main frustrations as hospitals try to rein in costs, said
"We have been working like crazy to improve processes and efficiencies," Tiggelaar said. "Our general approach is how we look at overall efforts to improve quality and outcomes" while holding down charges at the same time.
"It's not easy to do" -- especially with "skyrocketing costs not only for high-priced biologic pharmaceuticals but even generics," he said.
The manufacturing pool for generic drugs is shrinking, which leads to higher prices in that arena, Tiggelaar said.
But the bigger problem is the "cost of some of the highly priced biologicals that do fabulous jobs" in combating illnesses, he said, citing hepatitis C as an example.
"A regimen of treatment for hepatitis C might cost
It is difficult to compare costs across the board at both hospitals because of varying factors. But Gundersen proposes room-and-board prices for general, medical/surgical/gynecological rooms and several other services at
Mayo-Franciscan's intensive care room charge in
Repealing Obamacare could have severe repercussions
Asked about the severity of the impact of repealing Obamacare on hospitals, Tiggelaar said, "It would be very large because of the number of people who obtained insurance" who hadn't had it before President
If the thousands in the
"There is a large population on the fringe who cannot afford health care. If they lose insurance, they will postpone it until it becomes a catastrophic illness, and that is not acceptable," Tiggelaar said.
Tiggelaar is not alone in worrying about what might happen if Trump and the
When people ignore medical needs, they often end up in emergency rooms, the most expensive option for receiving health care and one that taxes hospital budgets.
Initial fears arising from Trump's repeated vows that he would repeal Obamacare on
Trump has since softened his threat, saying that he would consider retaining some parts of the law, including those two elements, but the uncertainty remains unnerving to the health care industry.
Rural hospitals could be hit hardest
Rural hospitals could be hit especially hard, and some might be forced to close, according to some industry observers, who contend that the job loss could be as devastating to many rural areas as the loss of care.
Hospitals could "suffer all the down-side aspects of repealing the ACA and none of the upsides," said
"An outright repeal of the ACA likely means subsidies will be phased out for insurance exchanges and
Hospitals also fear that repealing Obamacare could imperil hospitals' investments in evolving from fee-for-service models to risk-based forms, Kerns said.
"If those reimbursement models ... go away, what happens next?" he said.
The federation is "taking everybody at their word that one of the
Kahn also voiced the opinion of many in the industry the law cannot be repealed in total.
"It takes 60 votes in the
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