Putting the squeeze on the stress dome

Modern Healthcare - - Outliers -

The Mis­souri Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion wants to let state leg­is­la­tors know that cut­ting Med­i­caid would re­ally put the squeeze on hos­pi­tals—and the lo­cal economies that rely on them as em­ploy­ers. Last month, the as­so­ci­a­tion sent a kit to each of its mem­ber hos­pi­tals to be used in meet­ings with lo­cal leg­is­la­tors on the eco­nomic im­pact of hos­pi­tals. In ad­di­tion to the usual packet of data on hos­pi­tal fi­nances, em­ploy­ment and over­all eco­nomic im­pact, the MHA in­cluded a foam stress ball in the shape of the dome on the state Capi­tol in Jef­fer­son City.

“Strong com­mu­ni­ties NEED strong hos­pi­tals” is the motto in black ink on the front of the stress dome.

The hos­pi­tal as­so­ci­a­tion rec­og­nizes that a bud­get crunch makes these stress­ful times for leg­is­la­tors, too, says Herb Kuhn, pres­i­dent and CEO of the MHA. Hard bud­get choices have to be made, but cut­ting re­im­burse­ments to hos­pi­tals could im­peril eco­nomic growth as well as hos­pi­tal fi­nances, he says.

The stress domes are pop­u­lar with the as­so­ci­a­tion’s mem­ber hos­pi­tals, which are giv­ing them out to em­ploy­ees and com­mu­nity mem­bers, MHA spokesman Dave Dil­lon adds.

If leg­is­la­tors don’t heed the mes­sage, Out­liers won­ders if the foam domes will dou­ble as voodoo dolls for Mis­souri hos­pi­tal CEOs.

If you’ve al­ways wanted to squeeze the Mis­souri Capi­tol ... here’s your chance.

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