HealthLeaders Media Finance - September 4, 2007 | Healthcare's Next Holy Grail View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Healthcare's Next Holy Grail
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

Health plans have a lot to worry about, and you have a lot to do with it. Not you personally, but the collective you, as in us . well, let me explain. Health plans might argue this point, but for 40 years or so, they've earned a comfortable living by selling their services to large employers. But that's changing as employers leave more decisions up to the individual, or simply stop providing insurance altogether. Such seismic shifts mean that you and me--the collective us--is where the future growth in the health insurance business is going to come from. [Read More]
  Sept. 4, 2007

Editor's Picks
U.S. physicians, the bell tolls for thee
I find Cain Brothers' weekly Industry's Insights to be an interesting read most weeks, but last week's takes the cake. The main reason is a column sure to infuriate physicians nationwide in which Cain investment banker Todd Rudsenske that suggests that doctors' arguments against insurers' rating systems are a thinly veiled attempt to protect their own economic self-interest. While one can debate the merits of Rudsenske's argument that doctors, by and large, want simply to maintain the status quo, his argument that blanket resistance to peer comparisons in general smacks of money motivation rings true. He also brings up the American Medical Association's virulent resistance to retail clinics, which strikes me as blatantly protectionist--a subject I'm considering writing about myself. [Read More]
Uninsured numbers rise again . or do they?
At the risk of alienating my audience, something needs to be said here about the continuing increase of "the uninsured." This week, most of the media breathlessly reported that the ranks of the uninsured rose to 27 million in 2006 from 44.8 million in 2005. The usual suspects were then interviewed. Here's the other side of the story, since you won't find it here. Roughly 7 million are illegal immigrants, 9 million are on Medicaid, 3.5 million are eligible for government health programs and 20 million have or live in families with incomes greater than twice the federal poverty level, according to the admittedly conservative Heritage Foundation. Further, those who need to find their own individual insurance policies are forced to take a major tax penalty for doing so, compared to corporate buyers. Something is clearly wrong, and remedies are needed, but to automatically jump to the conclusion that universal healthcare is the only answer is patently dishonest. [Read More]
Letter claims one Atlanta hospital hurts another financially
Here's one you don't see every day. Grady Hospital, which is on the verge of financial insolvency and possible closure, claims the Emory School of Medicine, which provides Grady with about 1,000 full- and part-time physicians, cherry picks paying patients from Grady. Grady owes Emory about $45 million. [Read More]
Brokerage firm to finance Arkansas hospital
Another oddity. Memphis brokerage firm Morgan Keegan has secured a $16.6 million community facilities loan to build a new hospital in Booneville, Ark., hospital. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Fluctuations Should Have Minor Impact on Healthcare M&A
Recent market instability has torpedoed some very large deals in other industries, but the wild gyrations in the financial markets should have minimal impact on healthcare mergers and acquisitions, says investment banker David Kauppi. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
What's driving hospital deals: The bottom line
Minneapolis Star-Tribune - September 4, 2007
Rural hospitals' big plans stir worry
Des Moines Register - September 4, 2007
MedAssets plans to go public
AP/Yahoo Finance - September 4, 2007
Eyes on California as lawmakers pursue a healthcare deal
Washington Post - September 4, 2007
UPMC reports record revenue, profits
Pittsburgh Business Times - September 4, 2007
Upcoming Events
HealthLeaders Media News - September 4, 2007
From HealthLeaders Magazine
What All Great Hospitals Do
HealthLeaders August 2007 Think you're headed for the top floor? Are you sure? [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Hamot Health Foundation, Erie, PA

Rating: A-
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $77 million
Agency: Standard & Poor's
Remarks: : Dramatic growth in debt over last few years despite solid and growing market share gains against its major competitor.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

A Meandering Road to Healthcare: Cheryl J. Harelstad, vice president of supply chain management and technology with Allina Hospitals & Clinics in Minneapolis, believes her experience in a variety of other industries helped prepare her for the sometimes arcane world of the healthcare supply chain.
No Experience Required: Jack Fleischer, a 29-year veteran of the cutthroat world of retail, is now responsible for procurement for New York Presbyterian Hospital. Fleischer, who came to New York Presbyterian in 2004, is one of many senior-level executives recently hired in healthcare with no history inside the business.
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Finance

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