fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

FAH at 50: Modern HealthCare Highlights Success of Investor-Owned Hospital Sector in Latest Issue

June 03, 2016 | FAH Policy Blog Team

Category: FAH News

A Modern Healthcare feature article published this week entitled “For-profit systems blaze separate path to efficiency and quality” takes an in-depth look at the Federation of American Hospitals and its member companies.

Reporter Harris Meyer spoke to current and former FAH CEOs, as well as company leaders and industry analysts in examining what makes the investor-owned hospital sector successful.

The Federation’s 50th Anniversary served as a jumping off point for the piece.

“Fifty years after establishing the Federation of American Hospitals to represent their interests in Washington, for-profit hospitals have established a large and stable market niche, with dominant positions in certain Sunbelt markets. They have moved past fraud scandals and most criticisms about their business practices to gain broad respect for their ability to operate hospitals efficiently while achieving solid performance on quality and safety.”

The article focuses on several topics facing the industry starting with the growing collaboration between non-profit hospitals and investor-owned entities.

“On most payment, coverage, accountability and quality issues, a hospital is a hospital and we're all coming from the same place,” said Chip Kahn, the federation's CEO since 2001. “We supplement each other very well. One of our advantages is we can be very focused on a few key issues that affect our members the most.”

“We think the opportunity of creating partnership ecosystems (with not-for-profits) is a better form of growth than going out and buying hospitals,” said Trevor Fetter, chairman and CEO of Tenet Healthcare Corp.

The success and challenges facing the Affordable Care Act were also a topic of discussion.

“I certainly don't think Obamacare is going away, nor would I want it to,” said Alan Miller, chairman and CEO of Universal Health Services. “It has expanded coverage to, if you believe the numbers, around 20 million people. That's a good thing for them, and it's good for us, too.”

“We hope that after the election is over and the politicizing of the uninsured can be reduced, more people can be insured through expansion of Medicaid in many more states,” said William Carpenter, chairman and CEO of LifePoint Health.  

The article also touched on the changing nature of the hospital industry, especially when it comes to financing reforms like value based payments.

“Value-based reimbursement is financing, not provision of healthcare,” HCA's (chairman and CEO Milton) Johnson said. “The first thing we have to do is drive more value through better patient safety and outcomes.”

“We're easing into it,” said CHS' (chairman and CEO Wayne) Smith, whose hospitals are participating in 11 bundled-payment pilots. “It's a slow process, and it's not going as quickly as you might think.”

The article also focuses on the most important thing for the Federation and our members – patient care and quality.

Additionally, the coverage includes a sidebar about the Federation’s Golden Anniversary entitled – From upstart to influence: FAH celebrates 50 years.”