Beebe Medical Center President and CEO Jeffrey Fried discussed how the hospital is preparing for the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the healthcare reform law), the growing and aging population of Sussex County, and the work that's being done to improve patient care and safety during his presentation at today's Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon.
Fried says the biggest impact the healthcare law will have on the hospital will be that it will receive less reimbursement payments from third-party payers and insurance companies once the law fully takes effect. He says that will create the challenge of changing the cost structure and how healtchare is delivered in order to make it more affordable.
In Delaware and throughout the U.S., there's a shortage of primary care physicians. Fried says medical school graduates carry an average of $200,000 to $250,000 in debt. He says that pushes them to choose higher-paying fields of medicine so they can pay off their debts faster. Fried pointed out that primary care isn't one of those higher-paying fields. He says he isn't sure the federal government's plan to increase reimbursements to primary care doctors by 10 percent will make a significant difference in addressing the shortage. He did give the government credit for recognizing that the shortage is a problem
More and more people continue to retire to Sussex County, especially to the Cape Region. Fried said that a needs analysis conducted by Beebe's administrators found that the hospital will have to hire 50 new doctors, especially in primary care, to meet the needs of both the growing and graying population. In his presentation, he told Chamber members that 10 percent of Medicare benificiaries are driving 70 percent of the costs, underscoring the cost of chronic diseases, and the need to address them.
The hospital has a Quality and Safety Board that's constantly looking for ways to make the hospital safer for patients, doctors and nurses. However, a pair of patient deaths have cast a negative light on the hospital. Fried says the incidents don't define Beebe, and cited statistics in his presentation that showed Beebe is one of the best and safest hospitals not just in Delaware, but in America.
Healthcare will be the topic at today’s Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber of Commerce general membership luncheon.
Jeffrey Fried, the President and CEO of Beebe Medical Center, will be the guest speaker at the luncheon. The title of his presentation is “An Update On Healthcare Reform, Quality and Safety, and Planning for the Growth in Sussex County.”
Steve Prestipino from Apple Electric will also be there to collect new, unwrapped toys for “Toys for Tots.” The luncheon begins at noon at Kings Creek Country Club in Rehoboth.
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