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WGH chief: Obamacare hurts bottom line

December 17, 2013

Among other factors, the Affordable Care Act is detrimental to Warren General Hospital’s bottom line, WGH Chief Executive Officer John Papalia said during the hospital’s public board meeting last......

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Kelly14

Dec-17-13 2:52 AM

"Every time an orthopedic patient... gets sent to Erie, takes revenues from our community," he said. Some patients wouldn't need to go to Erie if a certain on-call orthopedic surgeon wouldn't refuse to see a child on the weekend with a possible break to a growth plate and was in E.R. And this happens ALL THE TIME. God forbid they have to be bothered with a emergency after hours. Just a thought!

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Crossley

Dec-17-13 7:11 AM

Obamacare has hurt America!!!! Obama has hurt America and I hope every person who voted for him is proud. His intent was to ruin our country and he is doing it very well.

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LeftyBeaulieu

Dec-17-13 9:20 AM

The other factors are the sequester which reduced payments for medicare and medicaid payments for rural hospitals as well as the governor's refusal to expand medicaid. This should have been noted in the article. Obamacare will actually bring in more money to hospitals which is why Highmark and UPMC are interested in taking over WGH. They are not interested in losing money. Blaming Obamacare is convenient, but it is the spending hawks who have ruined our hospital. Shutting down lab services at the hospital, replacing transcriptionists with a voice-recognition system that does not work well, and firing quality physicians does great things for the bottom line but quality of health care suffers and services provided become limited. Great business decisions. Poor healthcare decisions.

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quiensabe

Dec-17-13 9:32 AM

Whoa, Nellie. Let's think about this for a nanosecond. Two people are injured in accidents and brought to WGH. They have identical serious injuries. They leave with identical bills: $20,000. Patient A has the rock bottom insurance through the dreaded Obamacare with a $6,500 deductible (the highest I could find on the exchange). Patient B has no insurance (you know, like the good old days). Neither can pay. Which patient costs the hospital more money? You have 10 seconds to answer. With reasoning like that offered up by the CEO, it's no wonder the hospital is hurting financially. Lefty is correct.

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quiensabe

Dec-17-13 10:07 AM

But, as we all know Obamacare is the 5th horseman of the apocalypse. Killer frosts, earthquakes: Obamacare. Dogs sleeping with cats: Obamacare. Global warming: Obamacare. Oh, wait, I forgot, there is no global warming. But if there was, it would be because of Obamacare.

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Brazil

Dec-17-13 11:41 AM

John Papalia states: "While the Affordable Care Act is attempting to ensure all patients will be covered with insurance, the reality is the patients who did not have coverage before, who have it now, are faced with outrageously high deductibles. The result will again fall on the health care facilities providing the care," he said. THE Above statement from Mr. Papalia is proof positive that WGH is in desperate need of a new CEO. So patient 1 has no insurance and can't pay anything towards the inflated chargemaster pricing by the Hospital but that is better than the affordable care act where the patient has insurance and a $5000 deductible but the hospital will be paid for amounts above and beyond the deductible. The CEO has become non-sensical.

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Brazil

Dec-17-13 11:48 AM

And many of those dreaded referrals outside of local specialists are the result of ER doctors now being provided thorough contract by a UPMC based Hospital in Erie. The CEO might ask: Why do we have so many local rehab facilities? Maybe they are filling needs that the Hospital did not fill adequately. Thankfully though the CEO's crystal ball says they've made all the right decisions.

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peeon1

Dec-17-13 12:44 PM

Maybe Papalia's reasoning is it is better to charge the uninsured full price than to charge the insured the discounted price. If you can't pay they sue you and get the full inflated amount. Sounds like all the publicity he is getting he is planning on getting back into politics. Why not he and Gov. Corbert seem to be from the same mold. Only problem is he would have to take a cut in pay.

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Brazil

Dec-17-13 1:13 PM

Peeon - priceless on the pay cut comment. If you subscribe to the notion that any publicity is good publicity then you'd be correct. He doesn't seem to be getting any good publicity as of late and the blame rests with him because everytime he talks he digs himself a deeper hole.

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justobserving

Dec-17-13 3:20 PM

Back up two nanoseconds. If the person with Obamacare can't pay, how did he get insurance? Oh, that's right, the taxpayers bought it for him! If person two can't pay, the taxpayers again cover him by medicare and by paying higher premiums! I can see where this is a win-win, can't you??

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Brazil

Dec-17-13 3:57 PM

Just Observing - and exactly what does that have to do with an illogical statement that the Hospital will be worse off with a person with insurance and a high deductible versus a person with no insurance at all. The debate here isn't about the Affordable Care Act it's about a CEO's statement that the Hospital is better off with an uninsured person.

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quiensabe

Dec-17-13 4:26 PM

We're (taxpayers, insured people, etc.) are paying for them now. The difference is the hospitals, like WGH won't have the excuse that they have to make up all that crushing bad debt load by needing to be tax-exempt and charging $4 for bandaids. The issue here is the hospital's expense. The CEO's statement is nonsense.

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Edinboro

Dec-17-13 8:29 PM

One thing I was really taken aback by is when President Obama said: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

He didn't say that just once, he said it over and over and over again. Dozens of times over a period of several years. And now we come to find out that he evidently knew he was lying about that right along just so he could get his way and get his health care bill passed into law! WOW!

Oh sure, George H.W. Bush took a beating over his "Read my lips, no new taxes!" foot-in-the-mouth moment that he could never live down. But what Obama did was waaaaayyy worse! Holy mackerel!

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Brazil

Dec-17-13 10:39 PM

Well Bush 2 claimed inconvertible interest that there were WMD's in Iraq that led to 4500 USA deaths and over 33000 wounded but who's counting. I do notice for the first time in memory I'm getting some disagrees on the WGH topic. Wonder if this forum is now required reading by the Hospital PR department or whether some folks abject hatred of the Affordable Care Act makes them avoid the real issue at hand in this article.

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ImaSecret

Dec-17-13 10:40 PM

WGH has been in desperate need of a new CEO since the day after Papalia started. Rest assured, he is simply placating the masses as he works out his severance package before one of the "conglomerates"buys good ol' WGH. Times have changed, I started there as a Candy Striper in the 70s. I had to work my way up the ladder and ultimately had to leave the state to further my career with any hope of learning how "the big hospitals" do it. Trust me when I say WGH has not a chance of survival, especially with the CEO that has been there WAY too long and a Board, save one, who turns their back on one of their own in the name of "what is right for WGH". Please. Almost all of them are either retired or about to be (save the one) and are only looking out for themselves. Obama Care is a convenient blunder for Papalia to use to his benefit. Rock on, john. You found something that may work for you for a bit. Face the facts. The hospital has been driven into the ground f

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USerious

Dec-18-13 6:36 AM

The same group that will now have a deductable they cannot afford under Obamacare probably were self pay until forced to get insurance. The collection of these funds would be just as challenging either way,. Obamacare is a covenient smoke-screen to justify lay-offs and cuts.

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quiensabe

Dec-18-13 9:36 AM

Good point, MTO, as bad as everyone claims Obamacare to be, I don't believe I've actually heard anyone claim it has killed people. It is amazing to me that arch-conservatives have demonized what was originally a Republican/conservative plan to reform health care. A truly liberal/Democratic plan would have been a single-payer program.

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quiensabe

Dec-18-13 9:41 AM

The basic premise of Obamacare/Romneycare (mandated insurance coverage) was hatched in 1989 by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

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quiensabe

Dec-18-13 9:42 AM

But, I follow the digression of others into the tired old swamp of Obamacare bashing. Sorry.

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Brazil

Dec-18-13 10:29 AM

Imasecret - It's really not been a secret at all. I've predicted for well over a year in this forum that the motivation was to sell the Hospital and everyone should watch for the golden parachutes that follow. The Board is either complicit or complacent it doesn't really matter which because either one leads down the same path. This was never about the "community" with the current CEO.

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quiensabe

Dec-18-13 10:39 AM

Sorry again. Don't know what prompted me to attribute that post to MTO. The Kudos goes to you, Brazil.

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MTOMTO

Dec-18-13 11:56 AM

I believe that Obamacare (ACA) was designed to fail. It is not gaining the enrollment of the healthy youth required to support it and may collapse under it's own weight. That would clear the path to the implementation of a true single payer system. I think that that is the ultimate goal. Baby steps toward Socialism?

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justobserving

Dec-18-13 12:41 PM

What's the title of the article Brazil? Last i new Obamacare is the affordable care act. And what i said is that Papalia's and quiensabes statement is wrong because we the taxpayers absorb the extra costs. Even more so now.

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justobserving

Dec-18-13 12:43 PM

Whoops! should say "knew", missed a key!

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