Hospitals Tighten Belts On Eve Of Medicare Cuts

Greg Salario is co-owner of US Med-Equip, a Houston-based supplier of biomedical equipment. The company works with about 650 hospitals across six states.

“And what we’ve seen with a lot of the hospitals out there is payment, even with our best hospitals, has gotten a little slow. There seems to be a trend or a buzz about being as conservative as possible with their budgets.”

Salario says that buzz always comes back to uncertainty about the price tag attached to the recent healthcare reform legislation.

“Probably one of the most extreme things happened with one our best customers — one of the biggest providers here in Texas — where they actually sent out a letter and said, look, if you want to do business with us in the future, you’re going to have to drop your prices by 5%, period.”

The Affordable Care Act won’t phase in completely until 2018. However, doctors are bracing for cuts to Medicare reimbursement, effective New Year’s Day.

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