Losses may benefit hospitals
"Regional Insights: How Hospitals Are Driving Up The Costs Of Healthcare," (Oct. 6) by Harold D. Miller, expresses concerns regarding the increasing cost of hospitalizations and the financial disincentive hospitals have to reduce admissions. The best way to combat skyrocketing hospitalization costs is to emphasize preventative care. This focus could reduce the amount of patients admitted into hospitals for unnecessary or preventable care.
As the article points out, if this plan worked effectively, then the reduction in hospitalizations would lead to both lower costs for hospitals but also lower profits and possibly losses.
The writer is too concerned with the losses hospitals may suffer. The losses could be beneficial because they will force hospitals to price more competitively for the reduced amount of patients and negotiate with health plans for lowered prices.
The writer is a student in the Health Law Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Insurance headaches not new
In "Physicians Brace For Insurance-Induced Headaches," (Oct. 3), the writer might have pointed out that "insurance-induced headaches" are not a new phenomenon.
About 20 years ago, a large ophthalmology practice in Pittsburgh had almost 100 different insurers to deal with. Whether the headaches will be worse may be a matter of debate, but the problem is much older than Obamacare.
President Barack Obama at one time supported a single-payer system. Most patients want a single-payer system, and there is some evidence that most physicians may want single-payer.
BRUCE L. WILDER, MD, MPH, JD
First Published October 11, 2013 8:00 PM