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How Five Leading Safety-Net Hospitals Are Preparing For The Challenges and Opportunities of Health Care Reform

This study, published in the journal Health Affairs, examines how five leading safety-net hospitals are preparing for major changes expected to result from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including less government support for uncompensated care and the need to compete for newly insured people. The hospitals studied are Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City; Denver Health Medical Center in Colorado; Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas; San Francisco General Hospital in California; and Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond, Va. Their preparations include improving the efficiency and quality of care delivery, investing in the physical and staffing infrastructure needed to retain patients and attract newly insured ones, and laying the groundwork for accountable care organizations and new payment systems. Authors include Jennifer Tolbert of the Kaiser Family Foundation, Terri Coughlin and Sharon Long of the Urban Institute, and Edward Sheen, a resident physician who was on research fellowship with the Foundation at the time of the study.

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