HealthLeaders Media Finance - March 31, 2008 | Taking Investing to a New Level View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Taking Investing to a New Level
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

Everyone knows that nonprofit hospitals have to invest to help make that all-important 3-to-4% (in a good year, 5%) margin. Most certainly don't make that margin on operations alone. In putting a hospital's investment pool to work, it helps to be able to make a good return, but it's also important to safeguard that principal. [Read More]

  March 31, 2008

 
Editor's Picks
Outlook remains bleak for Medicare
Nothing stirs the flames of dissent more than the annual trotting out of statistics about the looming insolvency of Medicare, and to a lesser extent, Social Security. Perhaps we've reached the tipping point as Medicare will pay out more in benefits than it receives in taxes starting this year. In any case, not good news for healthcare providers who depend on government sources of funding. Also, read CNN commentator Glenn Beck's entertaining take on the crisis. [Read More]
Cleveland's University Hospitals gets out of auction-rate debt
Cleveland's University Hospitals, like other hospitals caught with auction-rate securities in their debt portfolios, is making big strides in exiting the auction-rate debt market, having refinanced over one-third of its debt in the past several weeks. The securities offered hospitals and other institutions especially low interest rates because of the fact that they were refinanced every 7, 14 or 28 days. It offered buyers a relatively safe way to park excess cash. But when the credit markets seized up late last fall, no one was buying, which triggered huge interest rate increases, per the contracts. We've written a lot about this problem, but it's not one solved overnight. Many more hospitals will be exiting this market in the near future in favor of good old-fashioned fixed-rate debt. [Read More]
Tensions leave Tampa-area teaching hospital project in jeopardy
I'm always telling my editors this, especially when they're questioning a story I want to write, but this story is proof there's always a financial angle. In this case, there are tensions between the University of South Florida's medical school and its primary teaching hospital, Tampa General, that are threatening to at least temporarily put off the construction of a new hospital. And what's the squabble about? Money. Specifically, the $37 million Tampa General's CEO says his hospital supports USF with. USF's medical school dean counters by saying the money comes from services provided to Tampa General from the school's residents, money Tampa General would have to spend regardless of who does the work. [Read More]
Angioplasty's golden era may be fading
Just when you thought it was safe to add that angioplasty service line, it seems the procedure is falling out of favor. After a couple of years of showing that angioplasty's modest results don't justify the high costs of the procedure, its use appears to be on the decline. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Form 990 and Proxy Statement Disclosures: Are These Worlds Growing Closer?
Hospitals, as well as other nonprofit organizations, have recently been required to beef up reporting on their Form 990s filed with the IRS as the government demands more transparency surrounding executive pay, among other reporting requirements. Contributors Jim Otto and Eric Turzak shed some light on how hospital boards and those in management responsible for completing the form can help hospitals avoid any "red-face" moments in the future. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
High costs force a third of Americans to skip needed healthcare
HealthDay/Washington Post - March 26, 2008
Huge healthcare bill spikes nasty fever in Minnesota
Minneapolis Star Tribune - March 26, 2008
New leader vows help for troubled Atlanta hospital
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - March 26, 2008
UConn returns, again, for bailout from legislature
Hartford Courant - March 26, 2008
Union head moves to oust West Coast dissident
San Francisco Chronicle - March 27, 2008
Upcoming Events
HealthLeaders Media News - March 24, 2008
Sponsored Headlines from IBM

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Your Hospital, the Entrepreneur
HealthLeaders March 2008 Forget those fixed-income investments. Many organizations are funding early-stage healthcare ventures that can yield not only healthy financial returns, but also improved efficiencies and better quality care. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Duncan Regional Hospital, Duncan, OK

Rating: A
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $27.4 million
Agency: Standard & Poor's
Remarks: Rating raised from A- because of a several-year favorable operating trend that allowed the hospital to build an already strong liquidity position, with 435 days cash on hand. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Supply Chain Management: Listen here for my interview with Jim McManus, vice president of finance at St. Joseph Health System in Orange, California. His chief responsibility is supply chain management. His hospital system began a system-wide supply chain initiative in 2001 and in a system that spends more than a quarter of a billion dollars a year on pharma and physician preference items combined, McManus and his team were able to achieve big results. McManus will be a guest at the April 17 Webcast Supply Chain Success: Physician Preference Can Save Money and Improve Outcomes, where we'll talk with McManus and two other guests about how hospitals can improve outcomes and save on costs by overhauling their physician preference methodologies. [Listen Now]
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