These days, the increase in healthcare costs is inversely proportional to healthcare budget. On average, a person may spend around $10,000 for healthcare. PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts an increase of 6.5% for costs this year. Granted, this pales in comparison to the large jump during the early 2000s. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that healthcare is expensive. Further, with the repeal of Obamacare that provided secured insurance for everyone, more people may be left uninsured.
Meanwhile, the current administration plans to slash funding for both medical research and healthcare in 2018. There may be deep budget cuts for substance abuse programs and health protection agencies, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The budget cut can also affect rural health centers. The proposal will remove the Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant and other similar grants for rural health offices.
What This Means to You
Balancing a budget and making it sensible has always been one of the biggest challenges of healthcare facilities, both private and public. With the slashed funding, it may become even more difficult.
For one, facilities may be forced to offer lower salaries to entry-level employees. In the process, it can drive talent away from the industry. Second, it can delay development. Facilities will not be able to invest in tools and supplies immediately anymore. After all, it will hurt your revenue and could drain your cash flow. Aid and support for rural health centers may be delayed, and some remote areas may not have access to healthcare.
A Practical Solution
Dealing with a limited budget is difficult, but it’s not impossible. With smart demand forecasting and personnel planning, you can hire temporary staffing. You can get a nurse practitioner locum tenens. These healthcare professionals can work on a project-based basis and you can hire them whenever your demand increases.
If there’s a will, there’s a way. Continue to explore tactical solutions for healthcare management, and you can keep your facility afloat despite the budget cuts.