Future of Pennsylvania health agency in doubt

  1. The future of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council is in doubt. The agency charged with improving the quality of healthcare while restraining healthcare costs must be reauthorized by the state legislature by June 30, 2003, but some healthcare players are determined it should be gutted or even shut down entirely.

    Pittsburgh Business Times, Dec. 24, 2002
    From the December 20, 2002 print edition
    Lynne Glover

    HARRISBURG-At stake is the future of an independent state agency that issues reports aimed at improving the quality of health care while restraining health care costs.

    To continue operating, the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council must be reauthorized by the state Legislature by June 30, 2003. Some people, however, are concerned that certain health care players in the state may want the council to be gutted or even shut down.

    "Although the Hospital (& Healthsystem) Association of Pennsylvania never said outright that they would like to get rid of the council, it's an open secret that HAP would like there to be substantial changes to reduce the burden of (hospital) reporting," said Cliff Shannon, president of Churchill-based SMC Business Councils and one of about 20 voting members of HC4, as it's called.

    According to the law, hospitals in Pennsylvania must submit certain information to HC4. It's not surprising that everybody isn't thrilled with the information that HC4 makes public. The reports-such as the "Hospital Performance Report" released this week-inform people that The Medical Center in Beaver and UPMC South Side's mortality rating for congestive heart failure are both "significantly higher than expected" and provide similar data for all Pennsylvania hospitals....

    MS. GLOVER may be contacted at lglover@bizjournals.com.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jul 6, '04
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