Top hospitals to opt out of healthcare reform

A number of the country's top hospitals will opt out of healthcare reform, only accepting one or two insurance companies operating under the Affordable Care Act, leaving Americans who sign up for the initiative without access to premium healthcare, an investigation by Watchdog.org revealed.

Caps on premiums could drive insurers away from the best doctors and hospitals, previously covered under under patients' personal policies.  

"Many companies have selectively entered the exchanges because they are concerned that [the exchanges] will be dominated by risky, high-using populations who wanted insurance [before Obamacare] and couldn't afford it," said Gail Wilsensky, Medicare advisor for the second Bush Administration and senior fellow for Project HOPE, who is also on the board of directors of UnitedHealth. "They are pressed to narrow their networks to stay within the premiums."

Top hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic accept dozens of personal insurance plans, but only accept Medical Mutual of Ohio under the Affordable Care Act, Watchdog.org reported. Eleven out of the 18 top ranked hospitals offer just one or two carriers, according to U.S. News & World Report.

NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and Emory Healthcare in Atlanta will only accept a limited number of plans, according to a report from CNN.

Michael B. Green, CEO and president of Concord Hospital in New Hampshire, released a statement saying the hospital opted out because it would cost more to provide care than the facility would get paid, CNN reported.

Some of the exchanges don't list the insurance companies on their websites, or if they do, don't give names of acceptable doctors and hospitals, Watchdog.org reported.

Earlier this month, Seattle Children's Hospital sued Washington state's Office of the Insurance Commissioner, claiming the health insurance exchange will prevent some patients from receiving care at the hospital, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- read Watchdog.org's article
- check out CNN's report
- here's the U.S. News & World Report article

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