Today's Managing Health Care Costs Indicator is $3 million
It's no surprise and no secret that hospitals are buying up and affiliating with physician practices.
This could lead to some social benefits. Hospitals have the capital and expertise to make the big IT investments necessary to bring physician practices into the 21st century. Organizations that bring together hospitals and their associated physicians can better accept bundled payment, and even capitation. More integration could certainly lead to better coordination of care. Some even suggest it could lead to cost savings.
Today's Boston Globe highlights a northeastern
Both sides have lawyered up, and The Incidental Economist suggests that Steward is likely to prevail, and I agree.
What will this do to the cost of health care?
Steward said that the physicians could earn $3 million more through their contract compared to their potential earnings through the Beth Israel contract. Steward is also said to have promised to cover any losses under a large global budget (capitation) contract with Blue Cross of Massachusetts.
If any delivery system is promising higher physician income, and no “downside” risk without new processes to decrease resource use in the system, this will lead to either dashed physician hopes or increased health care costs.