Viewpoint: Proposed bills targeting hospitals will have 'massive unintended consequences' 

Hospitals will likely be forced to reduce or eliminate services and could even have to close their doors if proposed legislation going through the Indiana state legislature passes, according to board directors at Mishawaka, Ind.-based Franciscan Alliance.

The bills aim to lower healthcare costs in the state but, if passed in their current form, would have "massive unintended consequences," Steve Beck, chair of Franciscan Alliance Central Indiana, and Michael Browning, vice chair, wrote in the IndyStar March 15.

Lobbyists are having an undue influence on state legislators, they wrote.

"Year after year, these same groups think of new ways to target hospitals and ignore the other drivers of healthcare costs, such as exploding drug prices, profiteering traveling nurse agencies, for-profit hospitals and record health insurance company profits," they wrote.

Instead, targeted action must be taken to turn around Indiana's uncomfortable health statistics, such as it ranking 45th in public health funding and insurance companies reimbursing physicians at the fourth-lowest rate in the country, they said.

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