HealthLeaders Media Finance - August 6, 2007 | Community Benefit: Ready For A Punch To The Gut? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Ready For A Punch To The Gut?
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

Ending months of waiting, a new IRS report was released last week summarizing responses by almost 500 hospitals to a questionnaire about community benefit. The report and the response to it by ranking Senate Finance Committee member Chuck Grassley, R-IA, has finally provided some clarity on where the committee is leaning regarding uniform community benefit reporting standards for the IRS's form 990. Some hospitals and hospital systems may fear the effect on their margins from clarifying the rules for tax exemption. According to the survey's results and Grassley's response, maybe they should be afraid.
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  August 6, 2007

 
Editor's Picks
Sending back the doctor's bill
An interesting piece from the New York Times belies liberals' claims that high prescription drug costs and profit-driven insurance companies are driving up the cost of healthcare. It's also skeptical of conservatives' contention that high healthcare inflation comes from the fact that most people don't have to pay for their own medical costs. The elephant in the room? Doctor's salaries compared to other countries as well as the fact that the system provides incentives for physicians to perform more procedures than may be necessary. [Read More]
Medicare IPPS rule makes cuts final
Medicare made few hospitals happy last week when it issued its final inpatient prospective payment system rule. The changes occurred despite some protests from influential organizations and groups, including the House of Representatives, which on July 19 voted in favor of an amendment to prevent CMS from implementing the payment cut, and also to delay implementation of MS-DRGs for one year. Thanks to HCPro (HealthLeaders Media's parent company) senior managing editor Brian Murphy for his reporting on the story, and for giving me the heads up. [Read More]
Community Health seals Triad deal
In one of the few big deals on Wall Street this year that doesn't involve a private equity buyout of a public company, Community Health Systems closed its deal to absorb Plano, Texas-based Triad Hospitals. The Tennessean also published an interesting Q&A with Community CEO Wayne Smith. [Read More]
Alternative delivery models working for hospitals and physicians
A new white paper (registration required) from investment banking firm Cain Brothers studies how hospitals, physicians and specialty companies are coming together to form new models for delivering care. The white paper focuses on reacting to the loss of income from "zero-sum" competition. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Transfer DRGs: Are you being underpaid?
In 2004, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services instituted a "one-way edit protocol" for Transfer Diagnosis Related Groups. CMS says "hospitals are responsible for researching their own claims, identifying underpayments, and correcting claims accordingly." As a result, Prospective Payment System hospitals may have been underpaid for transfer DRGs--and not even know it, says contributor Bill Phillips. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Report: New Orleans hospitals bleeding money USA Today - August 6, 2007
Boston hospital plans $1 billion in growth, upgrades
Boston Globe - August 6, 2007
New Jersey fines Aetna nearly $9.5 Million
AP/Yahoo News - August 6, 2007
Board: Give us a chance to save Atlanta hospital
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - August 6, 2007
HMA earnings plunge on bad debt expense
Tampa Bay Business Journal - August 6, 2007
Upcoming Events
HealthLeaders Media News - August 6, 2007
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Challenge in Carolina
HealthLeaders July 2007 Safety-net provider. Teaching institution. Testing ground for new technology. UNC Health Care is all of these things-welcome to life as an academic medical center. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Little Company of Mary Hospital, Evergreen Park, IL

Rating: A
Outlook: Positive
Affected Debt: $71.5 million
Agency: Standard & Poor's
Remarks: Outlook revised from stable based on ample credit stability and light debt (26 percent) as a percentage of capitalization. Hospital has approximately 777 days cash on hand.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

Combining Compensation With Physician Alignment: Jim Woodward, current CEO of Meriter Health Services in Madison, WI, talks about his recent stint as CEO of Winchester Medical Center in Virginia, when Woodward and his leadership team developed an innovative way to combine compensation for call with an ingenious physician alignment strategy.
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Finance

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