HealthLeaders Media Finance - August 11, 2008 | SEC Rule to Require Vote on Universal Healthcare View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
SEC Rule to Require Vote on Universal Healthcare
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

A recent ruling by the Securities and Exchange Commission calls not only for public companies to implement "principles for comprehensive healthcare reform," but for these companies to take into account a shareholder proxy vote when determining their views on the matter. And it's got some up in arms. [Read More]

August 11, 2008

Editor's Picks
Cincinnati healthcare giants sued over alleged kickback scheme
This is one of those cases where you wonder about the arrangement that allows a whistleblower to collect 25% of any potential settlement. A Cincinnati cardiologist stands to make a big windfall if his allegations that two Cincinnati healthcare systems conspired in a "classic kickback scheme" from 1997-2004 prove true. He says, as does the federal government, that a group of doctors and administrators at Christ Hospital and Ohio Heart fed each other lucrative patient referrals, then billed Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal programs for the services. The suit alleges that the hospital allotted Ohio Heart doctors time in its cardiac diagnostic station to perform EKGs, stress tests, and other procedures based on how much business they sent the hospital for coronary artery bypasses and other surgical procedures. The suit could be worth as much as $140 million, an amount that could be trebled because of the fraud it alleges. [Read More]
Dwindling number of independent hospitals in Greater Cleveland struggle to survive
Call it the Wal-Martization of healthcare. Bear with me on the analogy. Pressed by the expanding reach of Cleveland's two largest health systems-Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals-independent hospitals in the Greater Cleveland area are a dying breed. It's business, and it's just not a fair fight. But if healthcare is ultimately to present greater value to patients, perhaps these types of consolidations have to occur. What will make it work on a value proposition is if patients have a greater say in their care and feel like they have options if the Wal-Mart-like healthcare providers of their regions don't offer competitive prices. For now, consumerism in healthcare, for all its promise and all the ink it gets here and in other media, is still in its infancy. [Read More]
UConn Health Center's suitors may not want to win
It's a competition none of the potential suitors may want to win, but UConn Health Center has received proposals from five local hospitals in a bid to save the cash-strapped institution. As I wrote last week, those same competitors helped nix a proposal UConn made in 2007 to build a $495 million, 352-bed hospital in suburban Farmington to replace its current hospital. That hospital would have siphoned paying patients away from the other nonprofits in the area-so self-interest is a key component in these negotiations. They may want to help-just not too much. UConn hopes to make a decision on which of the proposals it favors by the end of the year. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Innovative Strategies for Physician-Hospital Alignment
Recent changes in the law have created considerable uncertainty about the future of physician-hospital joint ventures, particularly for imaging joint ventures, whole hospital joint ventures, ASC joint ventures and "under arrangement" services in general. HealthLeaders Media contributors Beth Connor Guest and James S. Mathis say election-year talk of healthcare reform together with the recent economic slowdown means that in 2008, market pressures will chill some joint venture activity and inevitably cause other joint ventures to unwind. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Cape Cod Healthcare to cut 169 positions
Boston Globe - August 5, 2008
Pittsburgh could see Philadelphia-style hospital tax
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - August 4, 2008
Miami's Jackson south hospital to nearly double in size
Miami Herald - August 3, 2008
Newark hospital sold, saved
Newark Star-Ledger - August 1, 2008
Tenet trims losses, HMA in sick bay
TheStreet.com - August 5, 2008
Louisiana hospital at least three years away
New Orleans Times-Picayune - August 6, 2008
University of Alabama Health System picks new CEO
Birmingham News - August 2, 2008
Los Angeles-based Century City Doctors Hospital seeks buyer
Los Angeles Times - August 4, 2008

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A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

Rating: A1
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Affected Debt: $294 million
Agency: Moody's Investor's Service
Remarks: Upgraded from A2 in part because of a long history of attracting competitive federal research grants.
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Audio Feature

Certificate of Need: Deborah Kolb-Collier, a senior principal in the strategy and planning practice at the Noblis Center for Health Innovation, discusses certificate-of-need laws and what their further relaxation means to competition in healthcare. [Listen Now]
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