Reductions or leveling in reimbursements, coupled with increasing numbers of uninsured and underinsured, create a difficult environment in which to meet the public's need for adequate, yet affordable health care.
The first publication in a series designed to give an overview of different financial elements within the health care industry focuses on revenue. Hospitals must generate revenue in order to provide their community with crucial health care services. The complex system of hospital financing includes a variety of revenue sources. A large portion of hospital revenue comes from government programs. The payment rates for these programs are set by law and typically do not cover the full cost of care. The brief provides an overview of government and other sources of hospital revenue and explains the challenges of public payer underpayment.
The second publication in A Hospital Finance Basics Series examines hospital costs – the resources necessary to provide high-quality health care services. Providing hospital care is a labor-intensive and slim-margin business. Hospitals rely on their highly skilled and dedicated workforce in order to provide advanced levels of health care services. Employee salaries, wages and benefits make up about half of Kansas hospitals' total costs. Supplies account for another 20 percent of costs.
The third publication focuses on EMTALA. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act requires hospitals with emergency departments to provide three responsibilities regardless of a patient’s ability to pay:
- Medical screening examination
- Stabilization of patient
- Transfer or acceptance of patients
Additional publications are planned in this Hospital Finance Basics Series. Please contact Shannan Flach, KHA, at (785) 233-7436 with additional hospital finance questions.