Reuters: Hospitals put investments on hold amid AHCA uncertainty

Hospitals are dialing back investments in the face of uncertainty presented by healthcare reform, according to a report from Reuters.

For example, the increase in insured patients Denver Health Medical Center experienced after the ACA stimulated financial growth and helped fund a $26.9 million clinic, according to the report. The success of this clinic motivated the medical center to plan $73.7 million in projects to further expand services. However, with more than half of its patients covered by Medicaid, the safety net hospital put these expansion projects on hold due to uncertainty from the proposed American Health Care Act, according to the report.

The Congressional Budget Office projected 14 million people would lose health insurance in 2018 under the proposed AHCA plan — undoing almost three-quarters of the gains in insurance coverage made by the ACA. For hospitals like Denver Health Medical Center, this could take a significant toll on finances.

Some providers are also dialing back on hiring, like University of Alabama Birmingham Health System, which put a hiring freeze on all non-clinical positions, according to the report. The conservative approach to hiring can also be observed on a national level, according to Reuters. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show job growth has slowed in the health sector this year compared to last year. Monthly average job growth in the healthcare sector so far this year is 8,775, compared to 11,413 last year, according to the report.

Reuters noted not all providers are scaling back on investments investments. Some regions such as Atlanta and Houston are moving full speed ahead because population increases in those areas are expected to support hospital growth, according to the report.

Read the full story here.


More articles on leadership and management:

Word from the C-suite: AHCA will 'kick bureaucrats out of doctors' offices'
9 things to know about the AHCA House vote
ACA repeal, change management and leading through uncertainty: 5 questions with Dr. Richard Afable, president & CEO of St. Joseph Hoag Health

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