Hospitals Look To Become Insurers, As Well As Providers Of Care

Michael Dowling, a burly Ireland native running one of New York’s largest hospital networks, is preparing to turn his business model on its head: He wants to keep his hospital beds empty, rather than full.

That’s because the North Shore-LIJ Health System, with 16 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient centers in Long Island and New York City, is laying the groundwork to be an insurer, as well as a provider of health care.

Like other hospital chains across the country, it’s under intense pressure from public and private insurers, as well as employers, to accept flat-rate payments for care, rather than reimbursements for every service. And that puts pressure on hospitals not just to manage costs, but to keep people well — in short, to act more like insurers.

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Source: Kaiser Health News