HealthLeaders Media Finance - May 17, 2010 | Shame on Wall Street, But Shame on Healthcare Leaders Too View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Shame on Wall Street, But Shame on Healthcare Leaders Too
Karen Minich-Pourshadi, Senior Editor-Finance

I'm more than a little irked by what I've been reading the past couple of days about the latest possible finance industry scandal. The New York attorney general has started an investigation of eight finance companies to see if they provided misleading information to three ratings agencies. Why should healthcare finance leaders care about this, though? Well, if it isn't enough that lack of moral leadership in the finance industry caused a trickle down that nearly bankrupted more than a few hospitals, they also drove your charity care numbers up. You now are listening to sad tales of former $100k technology whiz kids who show up at your ER with no cash to pay the bill for their newly broken leg; after all, they have no job. And they just can't spare the cash because they are already tapping into their savings and 401k plans to pay for their mortgages. [Read More]

  May 17, 2010

 
Editor's Picks
Five Changes Health Plans Need to Make Now
As I mentioned in my column this week, healthcare providers need to take a more active role as champions for the financial side of healthcare for their patients. Healthcare costs and the employer-based health insurance market are not sustainable in the long run. Forcing members to shoulder more of the costs isn't going to work. Eventually, we will reach a tipping point in which it will no longer make economic sense to buy health insurance, and health insurers need to make sure they don't reach that tipping point. Want to learn more about what needs to change with health insurers, our health plan editor takes a look. [Read More]
A Health System Thrives . . . In Detroit?
How is Henry Ford Health System thriving amidst all the economic carnage? If you were looking for the worst place to situate a hospital, you couldn't do much better than Detroit. Henry Ford, which made $30.4 million margin on nearly $4 billion in revenues last year, is investing right in the middle of Detroit's downtown, which hovers around a nearly 16% unemployment rate. Our Senior Leadership Editor takes a look at what's keeping this system thriving during tumultuous times. [Read More]
What Happens When Quality Payment Incentives Stop?
You don't have to go very far to hear about new bonuses or incentives being planned or implemented for providers and hospital chiefs to promote quality care. Rewards and bonuses always get our attention. But what happens when those incentives go away? Will that quality remain-or go away as well? Janice Simmons, our senior quality editor, takes a look at this compensation and quality question. [Read More]
Finance Forum
No-Bid Contracts and the Age of Transparency
For organizations interested in federal business, it's important to understand how a no-bid contract can be legitimately awarded and how the process can be abused. In this article, we offer a brief primer on "no-bid" contracts to set the record straight, de-mystify the process, and offer a simple, practical suggestion for how you may be able to actually get a shot at something that's proposed to be awarded without competition. [Read More]

An Industry in Flux: Five Quick Tips for Slashing Healthcare Costs
The mighty transition facing the healthcare industry can be intimidating, especially when healthcare organizations consider the potential for high expenses associated with changes to processes and workflow. There are ways to mitigate these expenses and even reduce overall operational costs, with the added benefit of supporting staff through the changes and reducing the learning curve of new technology solutions. One area that hospitals can tackle is document inefficiency. Document inefficiency continues to be an enormous cost driver in the healthcare industry, and here are five tips to slash those costs and keep healthcare institutions productive. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Pent-up demand, improved markets driving healthcare deals
Nashville Post - May 17, 2009
Rationing is backs
TIME - May 17, 2010
Healthcare bill poses credit risk for nonprofits
Reuters - May 17, 2010
Home Healthcare Agencies Questioned over Reimbursements
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - May 14, 2010
Provider Groups, Insurers Weigh in on Defining Medical Loss Ratios
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - May 17, 2010
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Saint Mary's Hospital, Waterbury, CT
Rating: Ba2
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $27.9 million
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
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