5 Healthcare Uncertainties Made Clearer

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media , August 27, 2012

2. Ratings agencies outlooks. Both Moody's and Standard and Poor's have written extensively about how healthcare reform will negatively influence hospital and health system ratings. In mid-July Moody's Healthcare Quarterly reported that even new revenue sources for not-for-profit hospitals won't offset Medicare reductions of $150 billion over the next 10 years.

The Moody's report follows on the heels of a June S&P Healthcare Economic Index report finding that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs has increased by 6.14% over the 12-months ending April 2012. Both reports offer a dour perspective, but they are nevertheless essential reading for financial leaders.

3. Innovation delayed. Before the historic Supreme Court ruling on the ACA, we knew that the long-awaited decision was negatively impacting healthcare business innovation. The upshot? Growth is still compromised. For even if a hospital or health system opts to grow—likely through a merger—it still may flounder without at least attempting to pioneer some new programs.

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