Study looks at CAHs and cost shifting

AHA News Now

A study reported today in JAMA Internal Medicine concludes that hospital systems that include critical access hospitals and non-CAH hospitals could use accounting practices to shift costs to CAHs and maximize cost-based payments, increasing costs by an estimated $150 million a year. However, the study does not examine whether the shifting of costs occurs as a result of cost-based reimbursement or as a result of care being appropriately shifted from a prospective payment system acute hospital to the CAH. “The study attempts to undercut the vital role CAHs play in providing essential medical care to the 19.3% of the U.S. population that resides in rural areas,” said Priya Bathija, AHA senior associate director of policy.

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