KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Some Hospital Revenues Could Decline If H1N1 Becomes Pandemic

"While it's common for hospitals to see a revenue boost at the onset of seasonal influenza season, the additional threat of cases from the H1N1 swine flu virus could complicate this fall's and winter's financial picture for such health facilities," The Chicago Tribune reports. A report by Moody's Investors service found that while the hospital industry is likely to see a positive effect on revenue, "hospitals seeing more uninsured patients and poor people covered by the lower-paying state Medicaid health insurance programs" could see a negative affect "if pandemic levels of flu develop." Moody's explained that "[a] large, continuing influx of seriously ill patients would likely overwhelm hospital resources, forcing hospitals to add staffing and other costs to provide needed services" (Japsen, 10/22).

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