HealthLeaders Media Finance - April 7, 2008 | Readers Write View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Readers Write
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

I seem to have touched quite a few nerves lately with some of the columns I've written for this newsletter. Some people are angry at me for what they perceive as ignorance. Many dismiss my points about the waste in healthcare by arguing that it's because of complexity and that I am naive. Please, I'm not blaming the victim here. [Read More]

  April 7, 2008

 
Editor's Picks
Compromise reached on developing physician ranking standard
While not directly a healthcare finance story, the effort to rank physicians based on quality holds strong ramifications for physician practices and their economic success or failure. The compromise is hopefully the first step, after years of controversy, to develop a fair reporting system that actually outs the bad actors and rewards the good ones. But with a physician shortage--at least a shortage of primary care physicians--how much help will the rankings be to patients if they can't get in to see the best doctors? [Read More]
Serving uninsured a fatal burden for Chicago hospital
Losses at Women's hospital in Texas forces closure
Former Tenet hospital in south Florida shutting down--slowly
I'm including all three of these stories in succession because the news is so unusual. Hospitals rarely shut down, but does the fact that three are announcing shutdowns in one week portend a future of inefficient deliverers of care being removed from the system, or is it a vicious cycle of necessary safety net hospitals stressing an area's remaining hospitals with the uninsured patients they used to care for? Probably a little bit of both, but change is definitely in the air on this front. [Read More]
Five years later, HCA thrives in Kansas City market
The largest conversion of nonprofit hospital assets to for-profit control celebrates its fifth anniversary this week. At the time HCA acquired the then-12-hospital Health Midwest nonprofit chain, HCA promised $450 million of capital investment in the hospitals over the next five years. Instead, it's spent $600 million. And it's paid more than $18 million a year in real estate and other taxes that Health Midwest did not. Though the conversion still elicits some grousing, many of the initial detractors have been forced to admit that the dire predictions they made five years ago have not come to pass. [Read More]
Novant Health, HMA in innovative deal as partners
Hospital owner and operator Health Management Associates Inc. has sold a 27% stake in seven of its hospitals in North and South Carolina to Novant Health for $300 million. Novant, a nonprofit, and HMA, a for-profit hospital operator, have formed a joint venture to manage the seven hospitals. The deal calls for Novant to take on ownership and operation of those hospitals' employed physician practices. [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
WellPoint outlines 11 preventable errors it won't pay for
Indianapolis Star - April 3, 2008
Drug costs rise as economy slides
USA Today - April 3, 2008
Whistleblower lawsuit against Iasis dismissed
East Valley (AZ) Tribune - April 3, 2008
PA hospital's sale of center to aid construction of facility
Philadelphia Inquirer - April 2, 2008
Medical office space in California gets top dollar
Los Angeles Times - April 2, 2008
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Your Hospital, the Entrepreneur
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Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Palomar Pomerado Health, San Diego, CA

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Remarks: Poorer than expected operating performance, weakening liquidity and anticipation of significant revenue bond issue in 2009.
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