HealthLeaders Media Finance - November 12, 2007 | Part D Growth Means Tough Choices View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Part D Growth Means Tough Choices
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

What's $32 billion among friends? What about $797 billion? That's how much the federal government shelled out for the (still) new prescription drug benefit under Medicare in 2006, and how much it's expected to shell out in total by 2015, according to a recent study. Does projected growth in Medicare Part D mean that hospitals and physician groups might have to swallow bitter pills on reimbursement in coming years? [Read More]
  Nov. 12, 2007

 
Editor's Picks
Hospital taxes would give county $240 million
This is a short piece that doesn't offer much analysis, but what is it about Illinois and taxing nonprofit hospitals? To my knowledge, no other state or municipality has even gone to the trouble to figure out how much tax revenue they could be missing out on should they decide to tax nonprofit hospitals, but Cook County says it could raise as much as $240 million annually. Don't say it can't happen. Just ask Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana. [Read More]
Audit shows KU hospital's turnaround
This is a somewhat dry column about the turnaround at KU Medical Center in Kansas City. Impressive reversal of fortune, but the nugget I liked is near the bottom of the column, where writer Julius Karash talks about the hard feelings between the hospital and hometown EMR vendor Cerner, which was angry that the hospital passed it over in favor of an EMR system from Epic, from Wisconsin, even though the Epic system was more expensive. Pretty saucy for a hospital finance story, but if you engineer that kind of turnaround, you get to pick whatever EMR you want without interference from local politics. [Read More]
Boston surgeons got millions from implant firms
Calling Dr. Kickback. Anyone surprised at this? Part of a federal settlement with five joint implant makers includes making public a list of the doctors whom the feds say were paid to use the companies' products. And the two docs highlighted in the article are just the tip of the iceberg. More than 40 surgeons were paid more than $1 million by the companies this year--and the payments have been made since at least 2002. Just makes you sick. [Read More]
Happy Thanksgiving!
From all of us at HealthLeaders Media, Happy Thanksgiving. HealthLeaders Media Finance will take next week off, but will return with a new issue November 26.
Finance Forum
Hospitals' Real Margin Pressure Comes From HR Costs
Reader Jim Novak wrote this response to a column I wrote in the August 27 issue of HealthLeaders Media Finance, in which I reported on issues that the major rating agencies feel are putting pressure on hospital operating margins. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Low family doctor fees the weak link, says NCQA
New York Times - November 12, 2007
Health system buys land for expansion, replacement
Philadelphia Inquirer - November 12, 2007
Maryland lawmakers propose hospital bailout plan
Washington Post - November 12, 2007
Unpaid medical bills curb HCA profit
Boston Globe - November 12, 2007
Upcoming Events
HealthLeaders Media News - November 5, 2007
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Will There Be Enough Doctors?
HealthLeaders October 2007 With a multitude of baby boom physicians nearing retirement and an aging U.S. population needing ever more care, how bad will the physician shortage really get--and what can you do about it? [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Resurrection Health Care, Chicago

Rating: A-
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $217.9 million
Agency: Standard & Poor's
Remarks: Downgraded from A because of heightened and more persistent operating losses in recent years, though losses moderated in 2007. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Reworking a Pension Plan: Elizabeth Ward, CFO of Moses Cone Health System in Greensboro, NC, had some work to do with the system's defined benefit pension plan over the past several years. She discusses the challenges and dramatic successes she experienced in transforming the program.
Building Physician Alignment: Laurance Stuntz, a partner with CSC's Global Health Solutions consulting organization, discusses building physician alignment and patient volume through EMR and practice management assistance.
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Finance

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