Medicare now makes up a much bigger chunk of Washington hospital payments

July 26, 2018

WSHA CEO Cassie Sauer is featured in this week’s Puget Sound Business Journal article on hospitals’ deepening dependency on Medicare. Article excerpt and link below. (note: PSBJ is a subscription publication)

Medicare is the biggest payer of any insurer for the 103 hospitals across Washington state.

The federal health insurance program ­pays hospitals 81 percent of the cost to deliver care. For comparison, Medicaid pays 67 percent, while commercial insurers pay 141 percent, according to information from theWashington State Hospital Association

Medicare increased its reimbursement volume in Washington by about 6 percent, from $13.3 billion in 2016 to $14.2 billion in 2017. Hospital systems’ deepening dependency on Medicare has some officials urging caution. The large Medicare and Medicaid populations, paired with falling reimbursement rates, cuts and reductions, can lead to financial shortfalls at hospitals.

If you have a PBSJ subscription, you can read the full article online.


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