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St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center

Advancing Excellence

Apr 22 2013
Health Care Cuts from Vaccinations to Research

In this week's blog I am including an article from Kaiser News on the cuts we are facing in health care. While  we understand the need to reduce the costs of care, these cuts come in areas where we have not yet developed the right community supports to offset them. The best example is chronic care management. Care in the community for those with a disease like COPD and diabetes is still not as advanced as we need it to be. The result is often people come to the ED and are readmitted.

We have had two across the board cuts, and several targeted cuts to programs. Penalties from readmissions, hospital acquired conditions, and the DR fix (a medicare cut to physicians shifted to health providers) total almost $14 million this year for St. Joseph's. 

As you read the article included here, it's also clear there may be more to follow as Federal cuts flow to the state and the state to local services. Behavioral health and maternal and child health care are most at risk from Federal cuts.

So, we cannot wait. We must take actions to respond and ensure we can survive into the future. We have been planning, looking for about five percent across the board savings. Supplies and productivity are key areas at which we are looking to redesign our work processes and expenditures.This week we will begin to role out those plans, and will ask all our partners to help us become more efficient and find savings that do not harm patient care. It also means there are things we may need to stop doing. If Medicare or Medicaid cuts a service, we will be forced to do the same.

So why the Kaiser article, a provider across the country? To reinforce we are all facing the same challenges and we can learn from each other's innovations. We will go forward carefully, and are appreciative of all the hard work that has gone into this planning. Share your ideas and questions, we need them to be successful!

I could not conclude without mentioning the past week. Tragedies from Boston to Texas have redefined how we think about what we do in health care. At a moment's notice we could be faced with disaster and called upon to respond. In reaching out to a colleague in Boston, she was still trying to sort out what to do in her own organization.  She did share that many people in Boston are contributing to One Fund Boston, Inc., which has been formed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino, to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15. Find out more here.
To send a check by mail:
One Fund Boston, Inc.
800 Boylston Street #990009 Boston, MA 02199
Send inquiries to:info@onefundboston.org



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