How Will Hospitals Be Affected by Health Care Reform?

Throughout the health reform debate, consumers and providers alike asked how hospitals would be affected by the new law. Given how many types of facilities make up the hospital industry, it is likely that the effects of reform will not be felt uniformly.

A report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines how hospitals will be affected by health reform. According to Urban Institute authors, Robert Berenson and Stephen Zuckerman, hospitals will likely be able to improve the quality of their care without seeing much difference in their revenues and expenditures. For the most part, the payment changes that affect hospitals are related to somewhat reduced payment updates based on current payment methods and the introduction of new, marginal incentives performance—a modest move in the direction of paying for value rather than volume.