HealthLeaders Media Finance - December 3, 2007 | For Hospitals, Debt Parade Hasn't Stopped View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Debt Parade Hasn't Stopped--Yet
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

As the credit crunch facing much of the economy refuses to fade, and in fact grows stronger, one sector seems somewhat immune. You guessed it: healthcare. While consumers and even banks seem to need a fresh infusion of capital that isn't coming, hospitals and healthcare companies are finding the spigot is still open--if a little more pricey. [Read More]
  Dec. 3, 2007

Editor's Picks
CMS unveils value-based program
CMS finally let its long-awaited value-based purchasing program proposal see the light of day last week. The proposal would cut DRG payments to hospitals but would allow them to earn back the cuts in the form of performance-based quality measures. The bonuses would be based not only on improving benchmark measures, but on how much a hospital improves its compliance with the measures over time. The American Hospital Association, predictably, is not happy with the proposal, because no new money is being added to the pool, but others outside the hospital industry believe it is a good first step. [Read More]
United Health forces P4P measures in new contract
A four-year cold war between United Health and Chicago's Advocate Healthcare is over with the signing of a new contract between the behemoths. A key sticking point of the standoff has been resolved, with Advocate apparently acquiescing to demands by the insurer to integrate pay-for-performance measures into how the system's doctors are paid. The move will give 900,000 people insured by United in the area access to Advocate's hospitals. Advocate can't be too disappointed it lost this war, however. P4P is becoming the standard among health plans, and hospitals have to be satisfied that they have at least forced insurers to come together to develop similar measures that rely on national quality standards instead of proprietary models that force hospitals to keep track of a wide array of measures. [Read More]
Competitive strategy: A new era
Nice article here by Alan Zuckerman in the HFMA's monthly magazine about the increase in competition in healthcare. Bottom line: If competition is still a dirty word in your organization, you're behind the eight-ball in today's healthcare landscape. Most of you probably get this magazine, but for those who don't, I thought I would point it out. [Read More]
Community Health ready for healing
Community Health Systems' sale of nine hospitals to privately-held Capella Healthcare should help shore up a balance sheet that was put under pressure by the company's ambitious multibillion-dollar acquisition earlier this year of Triad that relied heavily on debt financing, but hospital sales may not be over. The $315 million sale combines both profitable and unprofitable hospitals and serves to strengthen Community's balance sheet. [Read More]
Atlanta hospital's terms irk governor
Here's how not to go about saving your ailing hospital: make angry the very people on whose support you depend. What should have a been a celebratory period for board members turned into an ugly scene when they adopted a resolution asking the governor and lieutenant governor to commit in writing to additional state support of around $30 million a year. The hospital recently received a private $54 million loan to continue operations and a Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce proposal to shift operating control of the hospital to a nonprofit private corporation. [Read More]
Our New Look!
HealthLeaders Media today announced the launch of its newly redeveloped Web site HealthLeaders Media Online now offers Web 2.0 functionality, interactive multi-media, and free access to Web-exclusive stories from the editors of HealthLeaders magazine.
Finance Forum
Why Hospitals Should Not Delay Section 409A Compliance
If your organization sponsors any non-qualified compensation plans--and you know who you are--don't let a one-year IRS extension of the deadline for Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code be an excuse to postpone your compliance efforts. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Children's hospitals opening ERs at other local hospitals
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - December 3, 2007
Clinics run by Dallas's Parkland Memorial in the red
Dallas Morning News - December 3, 2007
United, SSM Healthcare agree on deal
St. Louis Business Journal - December 3, 2007
Cigna buying Great-West Healthcare for $1.5 billion
AP/Yahoo News - December 3, 2007
Upcoming Events
HealthLeaders Media News - December 3, 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

University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill, NC

Rating: Aa3
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $275 million
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
Remarks: Slightly leading market share in the state's Research Triangle coupled with dramatic four-year improvement in operating cash flow led to rating upgrade from A1. [Read More]
Audio Feature

These Days, Nurses Get More Respect: Deborah Zastocki, CEO of Chilton Memorial Hospital in Pompton Plains, NJ, discusses a shift in thinking whereby healthcare executives are now seeing nurses not as overhead but as rainmakers.
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Finance

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