2014 AHA Policy Research

AHA research reports examine key issues to inform the policy making process.  These include the TrendWatch series, a periodic AHA publication that reports on the latest trends affecting hospitals and the health care system (now conducted in collaboration with Avalere Health* www.avalerehealth.net), as well as other AHA sponsored studies.

Comparison of Cancer Patients Treated in Hospital Outpatient Departments and Physician Offices, Final Report, November 2014
Prepared for the American Hospital Association by KNG Health Consulting, LLC
Hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) treat sicker and poorer cancer patients in need of more extensive care and resources than do physician offices, according to this study prepared for the AHA. Findings suggest key differences between cancer patients treated in HOPDs and physician offices.

Accountable Care Organizations: Findings from the Survey of Care Systems and Payment, August 2014
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are a relatively new organizational structure for which little data exist about their organizational structures and operation.  To help fill this information gap, the AHA conducted a survey.  309 ACOs responded to this survey in 2013 which covered such topics as structure and governance, contracts and risk models, key challenges, performance management and information exchange.

Price Transparency Efforts Accelerate: What Hospitals and Other Stakeholders Are Doing to Support Consumers, TrendWatch, July 2014
Consumers incorporate price information when making most purchasing decisions. While health care services have numerous unique characteristics that make pricing complex and non-uniform across payers, both consumers and providers can benefit from greater price transparency.

Increasing Consumer Choice in Coverage and Care: Implications for Hospitals, TrendWatch, June 2014
The marketplace for health insurance has become increasingly consumer-driven, with important implications for the way care is paid for and delivered. In an effort to stem the rising costs of providing health insurance, employers are increasingly shifting more costs to employees, selecting lower-cost plan options that restrict access to a narrower range of providers and limiting employer contributions to health insurance premiums to a fixed dollar amount.


The Value of Provider Integration, TrendWatch, March 2014
A new era in care delivery has been emerging as providers focus on improving the patient care experience, enhancing care quality and lowering the cost of patient care. An emphasis on population health has provided the foundation for greater collaboration among providers and the development of coordinated care models. These new models often are “value-based” and providers are at financial risk if quality and cost goals are not achieved.

Health Care Spending Growth Hits Record Low, March 2014
Since 2010, National Health Expenditures (NHE) have grown at an average annual rate of 3.8%. This represents the lowest rate on record for any four-year period* and is less than half of the average annual growth rate of 9.3% over the same timeframe. A key driver of this trend is the low rate of health care price inflation, for hospitals just 2.0% in 2013. Hospitals represent about a third of NHE.

Economic Contribution Often Overlooked, 2014 Update
In 2012, America’s hospitals treated 133 million people in their emergency departments, provided care for 542 million other outpatients, performed almost 27 million surgeries, and delivered nearly 4 million babies.Every year, hospitals provide vital health care services like these to millions of people in thousands of communities. However, the importance of hospitals to their communities extends far beyond health care.

Underpayment by Medicare and Medicaid Fact Sheet, 2014 Update
Underpayment by Medicare and Medicaid to U.S. hospitals was $56 billion in 2012. Medicare reimbursed 86 cents and Medicaid reimbursed 89 cents for every dollar hospitals spent caring for these patients.  This fact sheet provides the definition of underpayment and technical information on how this figure is calculated on a cost basis for Medicare and Medicaid. 

Uncompensated Hospital Care Cost Fact Sheet, 2014 Update
Since 2000, hospitals of all types have provided more than $413 billion in uncompensated care to their patients. This fact sheet provides the definition of uncompensated care and technical information on how this figure is calculated on a cost basis.



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