Mark E. Lutes, Chair of the Firm’s Board of Directors and Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in STAT News, in “What to Expect from Hospitals and Health Insurers at This Year’s JPM Healthcare Conference,” by Tara Bannow and Bob Herman. (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
Nonprofit hospitals often get overshadowed at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, the health care industry’s swankiest investor meeting whose agenda is dominated by drugmakers and biotech companies.
But hospitals are still the largest part of America’s health care economy, commanding nearly a third of the country’s $4.7 billion health care tab. And similar to last year, when hospitals touted their plans for expansion and hiking prices, they will have a rosy picture to sell to financiers as patients flock to their facilities.
STAT spoke with attorneys, analysts, and health care executives who are attending JPM’s event or are watching from afar. Even though some of the health systems presenting at the conference just lost hundreds of millions in 2023, expect a theme of cautious optimism for the coming year from hospitals, medical groups, health insurers, and the vendors who serve them. Each of these sectors is dealing with its own challenges — namely, high labor costs and a tighter regulatory environment — but that’s not likely to be emphasized in their presentations to investors. Instead, they’ll outline their plans for emerging stronger.
“Hospitals want to have the debt markets understand that they have solid prospects going forward — that they can move beyond the recent challenges of staffing shortages and labor costs, and find ways to grow their margins,” said Mark Lutes, an attorney and board chair of the law firm Epstein Becker Green who will be attending this year’s conference.