By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The annual report card on hospitals in Southeastern Pennsylvania is like silver with a cloudy lining.

The region’s 50 hospitals and 50 other health care facilities measured accounted for $28.7-billion in 2010, up from $26.2-billion two years earlier.  More than one in ten jobs is in health care so it sounds pretty healthy.

Not so fast, said Ken Braithwaite, regional executive of the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council.  First of all, hospitals trail the economic curve and, second, hospitals’ income depends on payments from state and federal sources, “The majority of revenue that comes into a hospital is a government-payer.  That means it’s either Medicare or Medicaid.  Medicare, of course, is a federal program.  Medicaid is a state program so in this budget Governor Corbett has decided to cut over $333 million out of hospital payments.”

Braithwaite said Medicaid payments already don’t meet the actual cost of treatment.

“2011 will be a tight year and of course one of the other elements of that, for us, is health care reform at the federal level, and what that means for Pennsylvania hospitals.  Currently, we’re looking at about a loss of about $8.5-billion over ten years.”

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060

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