MHA Says Bay State Hospitals Cut $3.1B in Expenses

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , July 23, 2010

Savings were found in the elimination of clinical and administrative positions, programs and services; cuts in compensation and benefits; changes in purchasing strategies, implementation of quality and process engineering techniques, and reduced non-essential spending, the report said.

"As the FY 2009 figures show, Massachusetts hospitals have responded to the call for cost reduction by health plans, government, and employers," Nicholas said. "Some of these changes were sparked by the economic downturn, but all the changes were driven by hospital initiative, and hospitals will strive to sustain this progress as part of our contribution to lasting reform and bending the cost curve. With real healthcare reform, the future will not replicate the past."

Nicholas said Massachusetts hospitals are committed to identifying greater cost efficiencies while maintaining quality of care, but that it needs to be implemented alongside "fundamental system reform, including fair and adequate payment to cover the cost of providing care, and adequate access to capital for health information technology and to modernize outdated facilities."

"Without these critical elements, hospitals will have to accelerate the closing of services and some hospitals may not survive. That means more than lost jobs and a drag on the economy; it means more limited access to healthcare, and that is not good for anyone," she said.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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