About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Rankin on the future, part 2

Fred RankinMore from Fred Rankin, left, president of MediCorp…uhh, sorry, Mary Washington Healthcare, on running a hospital and other topics. Rankin offered these thoughts to the Fredericksburg Rotary last week.


On the reimbursements paid by Medicare and Medicaid: “Every Medicare patient that we serve we lose money. Every Medicaid patient we serve we lose more money. The game that is played is that we shift it. We shift it to the Aetnas, to the Anthems, to the Cignas of the world and we charge them more. It’s a game that’s played nationally, and I submit to you it’s a hidden tax.”


On the trend for private health insurance companies to reimburse hospitals and doctors at the lower Medicare rate: “Our reimbursements will be flat at best, probably declining. The payer-mix will disappear within 10 years and everyone will pay what Medicare pays. I think that’s where we’re headed.


And later, on the same topic: “I’ve charged my organization to break even on Medicare in three years. I’ve got to tell you, that ain’t going to be easy and that will result in real changes in care.”


On the challenge of making a hospital a customer-friendly business: “None of our customers wants to be there. They are all there under duress, every single one of them. They would choose to be any other place, but in the hospital. We understand that.”


On the Sept. 18 ceremony in the hospital atrium, when Mary Washington was recognized as a Magnet hospital for superior nursing care: “The atrium erupted in pandemonium. It may have been the most satisfying day of my life to see hundreds of people proud of the work they have done.”