ENID, Okla. — Increased cost of health care for health care
Like other employers, hospitals have had to offer group health insurance to the adult children of employees, up to age 26, under ACA.
“Obviously there’s an expense associated with that,” Tarrant said.
In order to implement some aspects of ACA, Tarrant said, hospitals are having to find ways to cut costs. The measure offers a way to do that by offering incentives to providers to switch to electronic medical records.
“That’s one aspect of the bill that’s pretty major in terms of how we operate,” said Tarrant. “They’ve put some significant financial incentives that are strong encouragement for health care providers to take advantage of that. In terms of what we’ve done recently, in the last year and a half, that’s been a huge change for that.”
Integris Bass is almost 100 percent paperless when it comes to medical records, Tarrant said.
An expanding industry, meeting the challenges
Moving forward, Tarrant said, hospitals face “challenges probably unlike any we’ve faced in the 30 years I’ve been doing this,” in large part because health care in the U.S. consumed about 18.4 percent of the gross domestic product in 2012. The U.S. economy was nearly flat in 2012, while the health care industry grew about 4 percent.
“That tells us as an industry we have an appetite as a country for health care that we can’t afford,” Tarrant said. “I hope we are closer as a nation to dealing with that reality.
“As a country our focus needs to be on, how do we eliminate unnecessary expenses and protect what people expect to be there for health care resources.”
Despite the challenges of the current health care climate, Tatum said, 2012 was a good year for St. Mary’s. The hospital hired 10 new physicians over the past year and a half, was rated in the top 18 percent in the nation by the Joint Commission, received an A rating for patient safety by the Leapfrog Group and was rated in the top 10 percent in the nation by Becker’s Hospital Review for low re-admission rate.
Integris Bass was likewise rated in the top 18 percent of the nation by the Joint Commission in 2012. In November, Carrie Willson of Integris Bass received an Oklahoma Hospital Association Spirit of Advancing Wellness Award.