Horty Springer's Physician Hospital Contracts Seminar: Lessons Learned
Attending a Horty Springer seminar on any area of healthcare law has to be one of the best investments in legal education on the planet. The recent Naples seminar was certainly no exception. We attended the session on contractual relationships between hospitals and physicians presented by Dan Mulholland, Esq., Phil Zarone, Esq. and Henry Casale, Esq. The entire session was filled with practical legal guidance on a variety of topics but we were especially impressed with what we would call the “key note” section of the agenda: Healthcare Reform.
While predicting the future is always dangerous, and proper disclaimers were noted, considering the experience and expertise of the lawyers at Horty Springer, a peek into the future through their crystal ball is worth considering. (Please Note: The following statements are based on our impressions of what was said and should not be considered warranties of their material, you might say this is just our take on it; but, if you missed the Naples seminar, the session will be repeated in April in Las Vegas).
It was disturbing to learn that health insurance premiums will rise considerably in order to accommodate the rules and regulations of mandatory coverage. However, non-compliance is cheap and difficult to enforce without criminal or even civil penalties; therefore, many individuals will simply wait until they need health insurance, then buy it from one of the exchanges without fear of being denied coverage.
A recent survey said that between 30% and 50% of employers would drop their group health insurance, leaving their employees to purchase coverage on their own. Imagine 75 million people or more without coverage! Even with penalties, another survey said that by dropping coverage, employers would save 40% by taking this approach. The “poor” will get Medicaid but States are broke so reimbursements will fall further.
Insurance companies will market directly to individuals, bypassing the current reimbursement arrangements. There will be a price war that will be like “Geico on steroids”. Insurance companies will be forced to consolidate causing many of the household names to disappear overnight. The contact will be with individuals, not hospitals, which will complicate reimbursements.
Without predicting the future exactly, it is relatively certain that ER’s will be more crowded, physicians will be hard pressed to remain in private practice and the government will work harder to “claw back” money from those that abuse the regulations.
All in all, whether you are a hospital administrator or a physician in private practice it might be time to examine your survival strategies. A trip to Las Vegas in April to attend the Horty Springer seminars might be a good “bet”.
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