Assessing Business Leaders' Perspectives on Health Care Issues Academic Article uri icon


  • The survey results reported here shed light on how CEOs perceive various health care issues in general, and factors and proposed solutions regarding uncompensated or indigent care, in specific. The problem of indigent care has reached such dimensions that various legislative remedies are being sought, such as the Indigent Health Care Trust Fund and mandated health insurance coverage. Although the uninsured are not being denied health care, the cost of such care is rising far above that which can continue to be absorbed by hospitals and other providers. Thus, something must be done, legislatively or otherwise. In sponsoring this survey the VHA sought to gather information that would guide and facilitate their response to the problem of financing the cost of indigent health care. The CEO responses: (1) indicate the need for an education program; (2) provide support for legislative proposals; and, (3) highlight areas which need further investigation. Business leaders need to be informed as to the true causes of increasingly high health care costs, with the increasing role of indigent health care cost clearly illustrated, as well as other key areas of concern such as technology, unnecessary medical procedures, and malpractice suits. Hospital associations could develop comparative fact sheets addressing perceptions, misconceptions, and the actual causes of increased health care costs. This informational advertising campaign could eventually be broadened to encompass some of the issues which need further consideration, such as hospital inefficiency and who should pay for indigent health care. The respondent's support for and responsiveness to tax incentives to encourage employers to provide more health care coverage, and CEO support for the Indigent Health Care Trust Fund, should be used to shape legislative proposals. The CEOs' perception of the importance of health care (being third in priority out of eight key current issues) should aid the VHA in their efforts to gain the needed legislative attention to the problems of health care cost. The recognition by the CEOs' of the need for hospital profitability and their desire for limited regulation should also provide support for VHA legislative proposals. Several areas which need further investigation and consideration include: hospital inefficiency, who should pay for indigent care, part-time employees without insurance, cost and availability of health insurance coverage, and equal access to quality care. The widely held belief that hospitals are inefficient needs to be addressed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

publication date

  • August 22, 1990