The hospital is currently in the process of developing its Fiscal Year 2002 financial plan. Throughout the course of the next several weeks, hospital leadership will be engaged in efforts to develop cost effective, patient centered budgets to help us move our mission forward.
While the past year has brought welcome news about reimbursement levels, financial challenges still loom large. The good news is that after several years of declining rates, Partners hospitals were able to negotiate long term agreements with both Blue Cross Blue Shield and Tufts.
At the same time, we have won modest gains in beating back the impact of the Balanced Budget Act Amendments through persistent efforts at educating our elected officials. At the state level, the Governor and the legislature are currently working to address disparities in Medicaid reimbursements and shared responsibility for the free care pool. To the extent that our efforts are successful, we can help close the gap in these essential areas. You can register your support for these efforts by calling 1-800-681-1688 or by logging onto the Massachusetts Hospital Association website and emailing your State Senator.
Yet, there are still plenty of challenges facing BWH and hospitals throughout the state. While we have worked extremely hard to secure improved rates of reimbursement, we must be equal to the task of managing our own costs. As I indicated last month, one of the most important drivers of that cost has been length of stay. As we work diligently to develop a responsive financial plan, which at the same time preserves our high quality of care, we must all keep these challenges in the forefront. Your efforts to keep the momentum moving forward are essential.
Thank you in advance for your focus on these issues. Your skills and talents continue to distinguish this institution as one of the world’s best.
Chief Medical Officer