Reimbursement Unease Emerges as Top Trend
Topping the list is the prediction that the health care community will continue to be concerned about reimbursement issues, particularly as the effects of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) are felt. Rounding out the top five trends are the following predictions:
- BBA will continue to garner attention, but the $11.5 billion "give-back" in the Balanced Budget Refinement Act of 1999 will ease some of the pain.
- HMO premiums will increase, likely by 2.3 percentage points compared with last year.
- Fewer mergers and consolidations will occur among hospitals.
- More hospitals will sponsor physician education programs, partly to reinforce the standard of care.