Medicare Cuts Could Slash 278K Hospital Jobs, Warns AHA

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , January 20, 2012

"There really is a problem here financially, but to continually go after one segment of healthcare over and over again is patently unfair and enough is enough. That is why we are pushing back so hard on this right now," Fontenot says.   

Fontenot adds that hospitals are hoping not to fall victim to the Beltway partisan politics.

"The healthcare sector is always in the cross hairs. It is such a huge piece of the federal budget and the federal deficit," she says. "And because the government is somewhat removed from providing the services. They've got the providers and the payers between that. I don't think they can appreciate the impact because they aren't working personally with the recipients."

She said hospitals are trying to play it down the middle and "work with everybody in Congress." That starts at the local level.

"We are constantly encouraging our members to work closely with their Congressional delegation members and staff, particularly when they are at home," she says. "We need to put pressure on them at home and explain to them very articulately what the consequences of the aggregate decisions that are being made at the federal level. It needs to be brought down to the patient level and how it affects that member of Congress's constituents, regardless of party affiliation."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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