HealthLeaders Media Finance - February 11, 2008 | Hospitals in Permanent Decline? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Hospitals in Permanent Decline?
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

The evidence is tough to ignore. Compared to 20 years ago, hospitals face enormous business headwinds, as we've chronicled in HealthLeaders magazine over the past eight years and in this space more recently. The development and popularity of alternative sites of care, periodic reimbursement cuts, hospitals' seeming inability to collect from delinquent patients. the list of business challenges to hospitals goes on and on. [Read More]
  Feb. 11, 2008

Editor's Picks
Wal-Mart partnering with hospitals to expand in-store health clinics
I have been waiting for this one. On the heels of the failure of 23 Wal-Mart-based clinics operated by an outside company, the giant retail chain has decided it can operate the chains better by itself. Don't know why they didn't do it this way in the first place. But knowing Wal-Mart, it would be tough to roll this out quickly without some healthy planning, so it's probably been in the works for a while. The best part about this venture for local hospitals is that Wal-Mart will be partnering with them to operate the clinics, and if Wal-Mart knows how to do anything, it knows how to make money--a definite plus for the hospitals involved. And the company is fully behind the plan, with 400 such clinics expected to open by 2010. [Read More]
Task force outlines ways Minnesota could save billions
What caught my eye about this omnibus healthcare cost report from the Minnesota governor's blue-ribbon panel wasn't the $12.2 billion number for possible healthcare cost reductions but the idea near the bottom of this article that suggests a protocol by which hospitals and doctors would be able to charge what they want for services, but would essentially end the practice of insurers negotiating for discounts off those list prices. Minnesota's often a maverick state. They elected Jesse "The Body" Ventura as governor, after all. So this is quite an idea, and it might even come to pass--but I wouldn't count on it, even in Minnesota. [Read More]
Final push for a new Florida hospital
While certificate of need laws purportedly eliminate unnecessary duplication of healthcare services, the flip side is that they can tie up in disputes the construction of desperately needed new capacity--sometimes for years. In Florida, as this story shows, two hospitals have been fighting for years for the right to build a new hospital in a fast-growing area that most agree desperately needs one. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Tools for Competing Successfully in a Pay-for-Performance Environment
Pay-for-performance is a fundamental change in payment methodology that could transform how healthcare is delivered more than the current prospective payment system and managed care plans. Pay-for-performance programs, which are designed to align healthcare payments with clinical best practices and quality thresholds, are becoming commonplace across the country. Levels of adoption suggest that pay-for-performance is likely to stay and may eventually be rolled out across most payers. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Children's Hospital Oakland chief shocked at tax defeat
San Francisco Chronicle - February 7, 2008
Carolinas Health System gets OK to build new hospital
Charlotte Observer - February 7, 2008
Atlanta's Grady Hospital power transfer stunted
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - February 7, 2008
Greater Cincinnati hospitals gave $44 million in care
Cincinnati Enquirer - February 6, 2008
Kansas-based medical center envisions new facility
Kansas City Star - February 5, 2008
A new offer on insurance for kids
Washington Post - February 5, 2008
Upcoming Events
HealthLeaders Media News - February 11, 2008
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Claiming Their Due
HealthLeaders December 2007 Many providers struggle to bill for services amid a maze of contractual allowances, but sophisticated software is helping some hospitals and physician groups better manage the time value of money. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

OhioHealth, Columbus, OH

Rating: AA
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $474.5 million
Agency: Standard & Poor's
Remarks: Upgraded from AA- because of its ability to post good operations and maintain the balance sheet while investing in new revenue enhancing projects. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Don't Forget the Operations Planning: Sometimes hospital leaders get myopic when they build. They focus on the new and neglect to plan for how the facility will be most efficiently used. Frank Kittredge is a senior principal and national practice leader for the Facility Planning Practice at the Noblis Center for Health Innovation, where he helps develop and implement enterprise strategy, clinical service strategy, facility solutions and stakeholder alignment. Frank and I talked about his focus on ways to bring more robust operational planning into facility planning.
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Finance

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