It’s no mystery that the cost of healthcare is increasing, but coupled with changes in insurance coverage and medicare cuts; how is a hospital expected to stay afloat? Over the next several years, more patients are expected to move from their current coverage plans to Medicare, which pays a lower reimbursement rate than managed-care policies. Thanks to sweeping cuts in government spending this year, Medicare reimbursement rates have decreased by 2 percent. In an article written by the NY Times about Medicare cuts; “Medicare already underpays hospitals for caring for patients in an outpatient setting, and the commission’s proposals would worsen that,” said Joanna Kim, a vice president of the American Hospital Association. “Hospitals might be forced to curtail services, threatening access for the poor and patients with multiple chronic conditions.”
How’s this going to effect the transplant world? Considerably…Hospitals are scrambling to figure out ways to save a penny anyway they can. One such way is through outsourcing. The largest expense to hospitals is staff FTEs (full time employees), and the longer they are there the more they want to be paid and understandably. No one wants to takes valuable jobs away from hard working nurses and transplant coordinators, but CFOs and transplant dept administrators are being pushed to the brink. The hospitals’ solution is (unfortunately) by cutting staff in lieu of cheaper outsourcing services. Those in the world of transplant know that having staff on call to take organ offers is costly, so organ transplant administrators are turning to Transplant Coordinators of America to help reduce their bottom line. By eliminating all or most of their full time staff and replacing them with lower cost outsourced service providers like TCOA, organ transplant departments can save an average of 15-20%+ vs staff retention. Not counting costs associated with over time, shift differential, training, and insurance expense.
The administration at Vanderbilt University Medical Center plans to cut $250 million from its budget over the next two fiscal years, which could include more than 1,000 jobs, to try to sidestep looming financial pressures. “I think it would be better if we (could) manage this over, say, a five-year period instead of having to do it so quickly,” Dr. Jeffrey Balser, Vanderbilt’s vice chancellor for health affairs, said in his first public interview following the latest round of jobs cuts at Nashville’s largest private employer more than a month ago.
Balser said he couldn’t offer more specific information about what type of positions were at stake for the impending layoffs, how many would happen at once or when they would happen — except to say it would be by the end of this fiscal year. Vanderbilt’s operating budget is about $3.7 billion for fiscal year 2013. (Source: The Tennessean)
Tulane University Medical Center, Halifax Health in Fl, and Albany Medical Center in NY have recently contracted with TCOA saving them tens of thousands per year for their abdominal and thoracic transplant programs. With budget cuts looming something had to be done to improve their cost outlay and their dept efficiency.