July 2, 2016

Mostly clear

Hospitals brace for influx of medical treatment

In light of Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold a key provision of President Barack Obama’s health care law, hospitals are preparing for increased demand for their services.

Dr. Michael Nochomovitz, president of the University Hospitals physicians services organization, said the hospital had been anticipating the decision for a long time, and planning for whether the court would uphold the law.

“What we’ve done over the last number of years is create a very large network of primary and specialty care physicians throughout Northeast Ohio, including in Medina,” he said.

Because the law expands health insurance coverage, he said those people will need doctors.

“As more people who currently don’t have health care get access to insurance, we expect there to be a greater demand for services, particularly primary care and preventative services,” Nochomovitz said.

Thomas Selden, president and CEO of Southwest General, said in a statement the hospital is prepared to deal with the implications of the decision.

“With today’s Supreme Court decision, more people will access the health care system, hospitals will continue to be challenged to provide more services while reimbursements will continue to decline,” he said. “Southwest General is prepared to move forward whether health care reform is driven through government action or by the private market.”

Dr. Toby Cosgrove, president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, weighed in on the decision, calling it “a monumental moment in our country.”

“It means that we’re moving ahead on the journey of reforming healthcare in the United States,” he said in a prepared statement. “It means that we’re ensuring access for people who haven’t had access before. And it means that we will continue to address quality and develop a more efficient healthcare delivery system.”

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.