Our hospitals today are concerned that "health care" means fixing health problems that people have. After all, that's how hospitals have traditionally been paid. Replace a knee joint. Get paid for fixing the joint. The more hospitals did, the more they got paid.
That is changing with reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare based on, for example, whether a patient stays out of the hospital within 30 days of discharge. Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements can account for half or more of all hospital revenues.
In the future, hospitals will have more incentive to improve the health of the community, to prevent illness and control disease. That is, the financial incentive will be on keeping people out of the hospital and helping people live longer, happier lives.
That's quite a challenge for hospitals used to getting paid for each service they perform. In order to be successful,hospitals will have to get help from the community, from schools, restaurants, grocery stores, small businesses, large businesses, public health departments, and local governments. There will be a community responsibility for the health of the people.
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