Executives at three publicly traded hospital companies say they see clear signs that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is changing the mix of incoming patients.

The executives — at HCA Holdings Inc., Tenet Healthcare and Community Health Systems Inc. — addressed the effects of the PPACA recently during conference calls with securities analysts.

Two major PPACA coverage expansion programs were supposed to start helping consumers pay for health care Jan. 1.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor's insurance editor, previously was LifeHealthPro's health insurance editor. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Think_Allison.