Top 10 Hospital Contracting Priorities

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , August 22, 2012

8. Better reimbursement for carve outs

Carve outs can include services provided in trauma and neonatal intensive care units, as well as transplant and implant procedures. Edwards says this is important, but ranks as a lower priority because not as many hospital provide these services or uses carve outs. "Now they try to cover these items in their overall rates," he explains.

9. Better Medicare Advantage rates

Aging baby boomers are increasing demand for Medicare Advantage and payers such as Cigna are acquiring MA plans in an effort to grab a significant share of the market. Although reimbursement rates are an ongoing battle, Edwards says this priority is less important to hospitals than it was last year. "Did they rate it low because they just don't think there's anything they can do about the rates?"

10. Bundled payments for medical home, ACO

Making this a lower priority item doesn't mean they aren't doing it explains Edwards. "It means they care about it less and it moves the needle less than the other factors. Other priorities can be done quickly but the return on bundled payments and ACOs could take years."

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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