HealthLeaders Media Finance - April 27, 2009 | A Bottom-Line Look at the Latest Consumer Health Survey View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
A Bottom-Line Look at the Latest Consumer Health Survey
Michelle Ponte, Senior Editor-Finance

Once again research confirms what we have been hearing anecdotally: Consumers are not accessing care at the levels they were a few years ago. A look behind the numbers shows who is postponing or cancelling care and why. The latest Thompson Reuters survey shows that while most care being deferred today is for physician visits, patients are also putting off services such as diagnostics and imaging, important sources of revenue for hospitals and other providers. [Read More]

  April 27, 2009

 
Editor's Picks
Malpractice suits fall in Pennsylvania, easing insurance crisis
Back in the early part of the decade, specialists were high-tailing it out of Pennsylvania, due to spiking insurance premiums and a deluge of malpractice suits. But now, the malpractice climate is easing up. According to Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell, the state has seen a 41% decrease in medical malpractice lawsuits over the last several years. He attributes the change to new laws and judicial rule changes and says he will not seek to renew MCARE, the state-funded insurance subsidy program. Physicians are also getting a break on insurance premiums, which have remained stable or decreased over the past three years. State trial lawyers are even pleased with the turn of events because the battle cry to cap damages has been silenced. [Read More]
Advocate looking at hospital partnership outside Chicago
Hospital M&A activity continues to pick up momentum. Advocate Health Care, which owns nine hospitals in the Chicago area, is hinting at a possible partnership with BroMenn Healthcare System in Normal, IL, a move that would expand its service area. In December, Advocate acquired Condell Medical Center in Libertyville for $180 million. [Read More]
Hospitals mine data to identify those likely to pay
New companies are cropping up that help hospitals review patient credit scores and histories to ferret out who is likely to pay their medical bill. Roswell, GA-based Medlytix, formed in 2006, reviews patient data and tells the hospital who can pay, who should receive a discount, and who should receive free care. Hospitals say it is a great way to offer more charity care. Still, with their tax-exempt status continually challenged, this approach might not be deemed charitable enough by you know who. [Read More]
Grady Memorial Hospital private consultant makes big bucks
Expensive healthcare consultants can still find work these days if their task is to drive up patient revenue. Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital has been paying a consultant in New England $1,600 a day for the last year and a half, totaling $785,841, to run the hospital's patient revenue department. Hospital officials say her price is well worth it, considering she is bringing in an extra $1.5 million in revenue each month. Predictably, detractors say such services can be done much more cheaply. Maybe so, but will they yield a million and change each month? [Read More]
Finance Forum
How to Convert a Nonprofit Hospital to a Physician Joint Venture
Many nonprofit hospitals have filed for bankruptcy protection in the last two years. Hospitals that align incentives with physicians have a greater chance of survival. In some cases a whole hospital joint venture, one of the most powerful ways to align with physicians, offers an alternative to bankruptcy. The first step in determining if a conversion to a physician joint venture is even viable is to measure the level of physician interest and quantify the impact such a deal might have on the economic performance of the hospital. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Washington hospitals seek higher Medicaid payments
AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer - April 24, 2009
Stimulus Loophole May Allow States to Divert Medicaid Funds
HealthLeaders Media - April 22, 2009
Wisconsin-based Ministry Health Care cuts jobs in unstable economy
AP/Chicago Tribune - April 23, 2009
Provider Tax Stalls in California
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - April 23, 2009
Recession Is Taking Toll on Large Hospital Bottom Lines
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - April 20, 2009
Hospital's Eco Agenda Saves Money
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - April 22, 2009
Sarasota (FL) Memorial cuts loss with outpatient increases
Tampa Bay Business Journal - April 22, 2009
Aetna CEO Ronald A. Williams' 2008 pay package: $3.14 million
Hartford Courant - April 23, 2009
Sponsored Headlines

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Jump . . . or Get Pushed
HealthLeaders August 2008 The tough decisions you don't want to make now—but may have to. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Redefining Cardio
The cardiovascular service line remains a dependable revenue generator for many hospitals across the country. But a shifting market full of new options for patients means organizations must find ways to differentiate themselves to keep it that way. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers, Evergreen Park, IL
Rating: A SPUR
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $134.3 million
Agency: Standard & Poor's
Remarks: The health system was downgraded from positive to stable based on poor operating results in 2008 and short-term strategic plans, which could impact future profitability.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

Lenders Trace a Solid Line to Washington: There's much angst wrapped around healthcare reform. Even so, Kevin Lavender, the head of Fifth Third Bank's national healthcare practice, says banks are bullish on healthcare in 2009 and he has $3 billion in commitments to prove it. But he warns that while capital is available, there will be losers in the short run. In our interview, he says lenders are paying close attention to hospital management teams and how well they follow and respond to Washington's changing pulse. [Listen Now]
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Webcasts

April 28: Compensation Packages to Recruit and Retain Physicians in Today's Economy
April 29: Marketing Neurosciences: Service Line Strategies for Marketers
May 12: Service Lines Strategies Workshop: Cardiovascular Physician Alignment
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