HealthLeaders Media Finance - November 5, 2007 | Are Political Winds Favoring Reform? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Are Political Winds Favoring Reform?
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

Fifteen years ago, most companies received Hillary Clinton's health plan coldly, and it died a quick death. While universal healthcare has always been a liberal cause, some of its erstwhile enemies are beginning to change their attitudes toward any system that removes the burden of paying for their employees' and retirees' healthcare. And if anything moves the needle on a politically polarizing debate like single-payer or universal healthcare, it's when companies that donate to political campaigns and spend millions lobbying Congress begin to back the concept. [Read More]
  Nov. 5, 2007

 
Editor's Picks
Health plan group touts Swiss, Dutch as alternative
In an attempt to show that universal coverage doesn't mean government-run, America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group, is pointing out that private health plans have a key role in the successful healthcare cost control policies of both Switzerland and the Netherlands. [Read More]
Unlikely alliance forming on healthcare
I mentioned the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform in my column above, but it's not the only group of strange bedfellows that runaway healthcare cost inflation is creating. Welcome the umbrella group Divided We Fail, which features such mortal enemies as the National Federation of Independent Business and the Service Employees International Union. The group's stated goal is to help push healthcare to the top of presidential candidates' agendas at a time when there's no shortage of possible policy solutions, but political will to make changes may be lacking. [Read More]
Despite taxes, Illinois hospital healthy
Nonprofit hospital Provena Covenant Medical Center has paid more than $5 million in property taxes over the last five years, but that challenge doesn't seem to have dampened its ability to perform financially. In fact, the Catholic hospital is the best-performing unit in its six-hospital Illinois chain on a key measure of financial health: cash flow, which more than tripled between 2005 and 2006. [Read More]
Finance Forum
The Housing Market's Ripple Effect on Healthcare
Until the recent subprime mortgage crisis burst the housing bubble, homeowners were able to tap into increased property values to meet other financial obligations, including healthcare bills. But the recent tightening of underwriting standards and the rapid decline in housing prices have limited the consumer's ability to access capital. The end result is an increasing inability for many consumers to meet financial commitments--a situation that will affect the healthcare industry as providers attempt to collect from patients. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Prime Healthcare to buy Los Angeles hospital
Los Angeles Times - November 5, 2007
HCA accuses pharmacy benefit firm of kickback scheme
Miami Herald - November 5, 2007
Cleveland Clinic attempts to show economic value to region
Cleveland Plain Dealer - November 5, 2007
Amid concerns, Mass. AG seeks 'road map' for hospital system
Boston Globe - November 5, 2007
California hospital makes Chapter 11 filing
Los Angeles Times - November 5, 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

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute Inc., Tampa, FL

Rating: A-
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $47.9 million
Agency: Standard & Poor's
Remarks: Downgrade from A because of requirements of increased internal subsidies for Moffitt's growing research mission as well as reduced operating margins. [Read More]
Audio Feature

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.
Evanston's Dilemma: Mark Neaman, CEO of Evanston Northwestern Healthcare in Chicago, discusses what a recent Federal Trade Commission ruling means for the health system and its immediate and long-term future.
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