A coalition of Pennsylvania's urban hospitals hopes to sway the ongoing debate with the state over how much hospitals should be paid for treating the poor.
If it succeeds in minimizing the financial sting of proposed Medical Assistance cuts, then the Urban Health Care Coalition of Pennsylvania will have scored its first major victory as an independent membership association.
It's the latest example of an association created to address the needs of a specific segment of the hospital industry.
The 18-member coalition represents some of the state's largest urban healthcare institutions, including Albert Einstein Medical Center and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. They serve a significant number of the 675,000 people in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties who qualify for Medical Assistance, the state's Medicaid program.
Pennsylvania's Public Welfare Department remains in negotiations with hospitals over how to extract $100 million from their payment rates (Aug. 7, p. 33). Some 65% of the reduction will fall upon the state's urban hospital population, with close to 50% affecting members of the Urban Health Care Coalition of Pennsylvania. "So, these negotiations are critical to this group of hospitals," said David S. Feinberg, the group's administrator.
Other issues on the coalition's plate include managed care and the state's certificate-of-need program.