The debate about a proposed single-payer health plan for New York has mostly focused on what it would cost (between $92 billion and $226 billion per year, according to various projections) and where the money would come from (massive, unprecedented tax hikes).
Less discussed, but just as important, is how single-payer would compensate providers — doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmacies, etc. At stake is not only the quality of care for 20 million New Yorkers, but also the fate of a fifth of the economy and the livelihoods of 1.2 million health workers.
Disconcertingly, the single-payer bill pending in the state Legislature, the New York Health Act, says almost nothing about reimbursement — other than a vague promise that fees will be “reasonably related to the cost of efficiently providing the health care service.” To fill in the blanks, our forthcoming report explores how single-payer reimbursement methodologies would affect hospital revenues.
It finds that such systems would dramatically change the financial outlook for many institutions — both for the better and the worse — with some of state’s best-known and best-regarded hospitals paying an especially heavy price.
Bill Hammond is the health policy director at the Empire Center for Public Policy. Follow him on Twitter here.
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