HealthLeaders Media Finance - July 30, 2007 | Cheap Debt Over, But Bad Debt Hitting Stride View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Cheap Debt Over, but Bad Debt Hitting Stride
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

Back in April when I was hosting a roundtable here in Nashville for the June issue of the magazine, my guests and I talked about predictions for when the era of cheap debt for hospitals would end. We all had our theories, but the one thing we could all agree on was that given the breakneck pace of borrowing--not only among municipal bondholders like hospitals, but also in the public markets--it couldn't last much longer. It seems like now we have our answer: The end of the era is pretty much now.
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  July 30, 2007

 
Editor's Picks
Illinois hospital's loss of tax exemption overturned
Here's the latest chapter in a saga that we've been reporting in the magazine for more than three years. Though the headline might suggest this is the final chapter, and a happy one, for a hospital that many think has long since mended its ways, the reality is that Provena Covenant Hospital has become the poster child for hospitals that stretch the limits of their nonprofit mission. And taking yourself off as poster child takes a lot of work. So though this is a positive step for a hospital that has paid $5 million in property taxes over the last several years, the state still plans to further appeal this ruling. And as we know, the government has almost unlimited resources to do so. [Read More]
LifePoint on life support
More bad news on bad debt. As I mentioned in my column above, LifePoint reported a bad quarter this week that drove its stock down 15 percent. And that's nothing compared to the company's year-over-year second quarter profit, which fell 61 percent from a year ago. Wonder if LifePoint has any notion to try to go private, as its former parent, HCA did months ago. [Read More]
Atlanta hospital board member who 'billed' counties replaced
Try a big stunt like handing a $4 million bill to a surrounding county for free care provided by the hospital on which you serve on the board, and here's what you get: fired. Or fired, as a manner of speaking. To be fair, he did do it without board approval, but Bill Loughrey remains unapologetic for the move, which ended his eight years on financially strapped Grady Hospital's board. [Read More]
Finance Forum
While We Wait, A Modest Proposal
Contributor Stephen M. Schuster offers a potential short-term solution to the healthcare crisis that, unlike many other proposals, ignores the existing health insurance model. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Hopkins and Greater Baltimore Medical Center form partnership Baltimore Sun - July 30, 2007
Medical facility feels heat from doctor-owned specialty centers
Los Angeles Times - July 30, 2007
North Carolina public disclosure bill excludes hospitals
Raleigh News & Observer - July 30, 2007
Deal to sell struggling D.C. hospital collapses
Washington Post - July 30, 2007
Upcoming Events
HealthLeaders Media News - July 30, 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

Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, NC

Rating: A3
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $1.6 billion
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
Remarks: Outlook revised from positive because of increased risk associated with a recent 65 percent increase in total debt outstanding.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

A New (Old) Player in Healthcare Finance: Mike Gervais, CEO of the Philadelphia-based specialty lending firm Gemino Healthcare Finance, talks about how the market for his new company's services has changed in recent years.
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