HealthLeaders Media Finance - July 23, 2007 | Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

A college professor of mine once told me that one of the simplest ways to get the government to do something for you is to commission an economic impact study. He went on to rail against the rigor involved in many of them, suggesting that statistics could be manipulated in such a way to prove anything a study author set out to prove. His point was similar to that old saying attributed to Benjamin Disraeli that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics. Now, I'm not saying there's a single falsehood in a study sent to me by the Tennessee Hospital Association. But you can bet that the statistics in the report do nothing but reflect a positive light on hospitals and their economic importance to their communities.
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  July 23, 2007

Editor's Picks
Arizona hospital sends patient a $49 million bill
In this era of challenges to nonprofit status because of aggressive billing, no hospital wants to be perceived as overcharging patients, but this is ridiculous. [Read More]
'Under arrangements' transactions likely to be illegal in the future
Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis attorneys interpret the recently released 2008 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule to mean that so-called "under arrangements"--deals that hospitals strike with outside entities to supply certain hospital services under contract--are likely to be rendered illegal in the future. The proposed rule would revise the Stark Law to address such arrangements. [Read More]
Even deep price cuts would add few to the ranks of the insured
A new Rand Corp. study suggests that even if health insurance premiums were cut by 50 percent, only three percent of those currently uninsured would buy it. The study concludes that a federal requirement that people carry health insurance--perhaps similar to a plan enacted this year in Massachusetts--would be the only way outside universal healthcare to significantly dent the ranks of the uninsured. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Hospital Pricing: Is a Reality Check in Order?
Hospital pricing is a bit of a mystery, and even hospital executives may have difficulty explaining how charges are derived and how they relate to the costs of providing services. As a result, contributors Eben Fetters and Ron Luke say it may be time to rethink hospital pricing. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Hospital electronic record systems pay for themselves
Washington Post - July 23, 2007
Panel: Authority must be shifted to halt 'death spiral' at Atlanta hospital
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - July 23, 2007
Texas-based JPS Health Network cuts tax rate, looks to expand free care
Fort Worth Star-Telegram - July 23, 2007
Blue Cross to scrap policy with low employer contribution
Boston Globe - July 23, 2007
Upcoming Events
HealthLeaders Media News - July 23, 2007
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Challenge in Carolina
HealthLeaders July 2007 Safety-net provider. Teaching institution. Testing ground for new technology. UNC Health Care is all of these things-welcome to life as an academic medical center. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Excela Health, Mount Pleasant, PA

Rating: A3
Outlook: Positive
Affected Debt: $77.3 million
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
Remarks: Growing market share in primary service area; doubling of operating cash flow since 2004 has exceeded analysts' expectations. Very strong liquidity position with 225 days cash on hand.
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Audio Feature

A New (Old) Player in Healthcare Finance: Mike Gervais, CEO of the Philadelphia-based specialty lending firm Gemino Healthcare Finance, talks about how the market for his new company's services has changed in recent years.
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Finance

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