What They’re Watching: Stephen Rose

Stephen Rose, Managing Partner at Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to talk about provider reactions in times of uncertainty.

“Traditionally, health care providers, when you have uncertainty, especially the type of uncertainty we have now with respect to funding mechanisms in the federal government, you end up with the health care providers really contracting, hunkering down, because they don’t know what next year is going to look like. They don’t know what reimbursement is going to look like next year and in some situations, they’re just planning for reimbursement going down. So, you’ll see a number of providers across the United States health systems, that we deal with, where they’re cutting back on staff, they’re cutting back on everything they can cut back on to try to get themselves in the best position to react to whatever the next system is that comes into being.”

“On the other hand, we have other providers who see this as a great opportunity now. So, we have a number of our providers that are going forward with their clinically integrated networks, a number of new and different combinations between the health systems and ancillary providers. There’s a lot of health systems that are moving forward. So, you’re kind of in two different groups of, ‘well now’s the time to make a move forward and hope the funding catches up.’ Or, ‘now’s the time, we don’t know what’s going to happen next year so we should maybe tone things down.’ And then you have this other overlay that’s out there, with respect to both state and federal governments of enforcement. So, we’re seeing increased enforcement across the board for every federal program. I think that we just need some direction from Washington and hopefully with the most recent round of negotiations, something concrete will come out of there so that the providers will then have something to react to.”