HealthLeaders Media Finance - November 26, 2007 | That'll Be $49 Million, Please View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
That'll Be $49 Million, Please
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

Everyone knows that hospital treatment can be expensive, but this is ridiculous. A software glitch at a southern Arizona hospital in July, coupled with a failure to manually review bills for errors, meant a $49 million bill was sent to one of the 587 patients who received gargantuan hospital bills in error that month. [Read More]
  Nov. 26, 2007

Editor's Picks
New system to determine quake safety of California hospitals
Some hospitals may get a reprieve from California's strict earthquake retrofit rules. Hospitals in the state have been complaining for years that if forced to meet strict earthquake regulations, they might go under. Hospitals had been required to complete such retrofits by 2013, but a new system has been proposed for evaluating their vulnerability. If you've already paid for an expensive earthquake retrofit for your hospital, or if you've commenced construction on new hospital buildings figuring the old ones wouldn't pass muster, well, sorry--looks like you're out of luck. [Read More]
Interest rate swaps and credit ratings
Cain Brothers Vice President world adventurer Bart Plank has an interesting article here in the firm's weekly Market Insights newsletter on interest rate swaps and their ability to reduce balance sheet volatility and borrowing costs for nonprofit healthcare credits. Wonder if Bart was thinking about interest rate swaps as he scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro and swam with the sharks off South Africa? [Read More]
To your good health (plan)
Pretty funny blog here by Fortune columnist Stanley Bing about his personal struggles with his health plan. In case you're wondering, Bing spends about $6,000 a year on his health premiums and muses about what he gets for that investment, considering the myriad ways his health plan has avoided paying for the services he's used over the past year. [Read More]
Major healthcare players catch a case of quick-clinic fever
After years of decrying walk-in clinics as "mall medicine," many health systems are now rushing to develop their own versions of the clinics. Such clinics, where often nurse practitioners treat simple ailments without an appointment, are finding a place on the strategic wish-list of many major medical centers as an attractive new source of revenue and economic moat protection. [Read More]
Thousands of Medicaid providers fail to pay taxes
Despite rules that withhold a portion of federal payments to contractors that owe unpaid taxes, a loophole allows thousands of tax-delinquent Medicaid providers to receive payments, according to the Government Accountability Office. Some 30,000 providers in seven states, or about 5 percent of the total providers receiving payments, owe a total of more than $1 billion in unpaid taxes. [Read More]
Red light fines filling state coffers rather than helping hospitals
A law allowing so-called red light cameras in Texas on the premise that at least half of the funds would go to trauma centers and emergency rooms is apparently a legislative bait-and-switch. It's the second time the state legislature has used funds sold to the public to help hospitals to instead fill other unrelated state budget holes. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Hospitals' Real Margin Pressure Comes From HR Costs
Reader Jim Novak wrote this response to a column I wrote in the August 27 issue of HealthLeaders Media Finance, in which I reported on issues that the major rating agencies feel are putting pressure on hospital operating margins. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Employer-provided health insurance continues to decline
USA Today - November 26, 2007
Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati purchases physician group
Cincinnati Enquirer - November 26, 2007
Birmingham hospital plans new $72 million women's center
Birmingham News - November 26, 2007
Sutter makes deal to replace California hospital
San Francisco Business Times - November 26, 2007
Upcoming Events
HealthLeaders Media News - November 26, 2007
From HealthLeaders Magazine
20 People Who Make Healthcare Better
HealthLeaders November 2007 Who is finding innovative solutions to healthcare's myriad problems? Who is showing courage in the face of daunting challenges? Who is genuinely making a difference in healthcare? The HealthLeaders 20 offers a snapshot of people from multiple corners of the industry who have made healthcare better in ways both large and small. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, FL

Rating: BB+
Outlook: Negative
Affected Debt: $273.4 million
Agency: Standard & Poor's
Remarks: Outlook revised from stable on $12.9 million operating loss for 2006. While volumes improved, expense increases outpaced revenue increases, resulting in weaker margins. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Reworking a Pension Plan: Elizabeth Ward, CFO of Moses Cone Health System in Greensboro, NC, had some work to do with the system's defined benefit pension plan over the past several years. She discusses the challenges and dramatic successes she experienced in transforming the program.
Building Physician Alignment: Laurance Stuntz, a partner with CSC's Global Health Solutions consulting organization, discusses building physician alignment and patient volume through EMR and practice management assistance.
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Finance

Contact Lisa Brown, Director of Integrated Sales, at or call 781.639.1872.
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