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There has been much debate about specialty hospitals--short-term acute care hospitals with physician owners or investors that primarily treat patients who have specific medical conditions or need surgical procedures--and the competitive effects they may have on general hospitals.
Often suffering from multiple physical and mental impairments, the 1.5 million elderly and disabled Americans living in nursing homes are a highly vulnerable population. These individuals typically require extensive help with daily living, such as such as dressing, feeding, and bathing.
Although physicians and other health care providers acknowledge that they can buy drugs for prices lower than Medicare payments, they contend that they need drug payments in excess of their actual costs to compensate for inadequate or nonexistent Medicare payments for administrating the drugs.
Considering the complexity, the size, and the statutory constraints affecting the Medicare Program, some contend that the Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA)--recently renamed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services--management of Medicare has, on balance, been satisfactory.