HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - April 16, 2008
View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free

Rural Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Rising
Carrie Vaughan, Editor, Community Hospitals
For the majority of critical-access hospitals, the financial impact of Medicare Advantage plans has been negligible since the plans were established by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 as a replacement for Medicare+Choice. [Read More]
April 16, 2008
Editor's Picks

Expanding services into the suburbs gets more difficult
Boston's large healthcare systems may have a tougher time expanding services into the suburbs if proposed regulations by the state's Department of Public Health are approved. The rules would require hospitals to prove that their expansion plans do not duplicate existing services. This would be good news for many community hospitals that are concerned about how direct competition from these larger healthcare systems will impact their future viability. [Read More]

Community cancer centers
Cancer treatment is no longer contained to hospitals and academic institutions in urban settings--smaller satellite offices and treatment centers continue to grow. As this article reports, many patients want to have their cancer treatment closer to home. This trend offers a lot of opportunities for community hospitals to expand services and better meet the needs of their communities. [Read More]

Tough choices
Of New Jersey's 78 hospitals, four have closed in the last 18 months, four others announced plans to close, and five filed for bankruptcy protection, with about half the others losing money. According to the state health commissioner, letting some of the state's hospitals close may be just what is needed to strengthen other facilities. [Read More]

Too many beds
The Illinois health planning board recently rejected proposals made by Vista Health Systems and Advocate Health Care to build a 140-bed hospital in Lindenhurst and a 144-bed hospital in the Round Lake area, respectively. The board claimed that Lake County has too many hospital beds already. [Read More]

Out of the running
I had reported that the 184-bed Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, CA, was a top contender for the contract to reopen Martin Luther King-Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles. Last week, however, the small for-profit hospital withdrew from negotiations. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

The Physician Empowerment Movement
Contributor Richard L. Reece, MD, says physicians are fed up with reimbursement struggles and being left out of discussions about healthcare reform and are beginning to organize and find their collective voice. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

CMS proposed rule could significantly expand quality measures
Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies - April 15, 2008
Medical errors costing U.S. billions
HealthDay/Washington Post - April 9, 2008
Renaissance Healthcare Systems runs out of money to finish facility
Dallas Morning News - April 14, 2008
Company closing Illinois facility to open new hospital in Wisconsin
Chicago Tribune - April 11, 2008
Louisiana hospital aligns with cancer site
New Orleans Times-Picayune - April 10, 2008
Warning on medication mix-ups for kids
AP/Yahoo News - April 11, 2008
Sponsored Headlines From IBM

Healthcare 2015: Win-win or lose-lose? The current paths of many healthcare systems around the world will become unsustainable by 2015. Healthcare systems that fail to transform will likely require immediate and major forced restructuring. There is a more positive scenario that will require new levels of accountability, tough decisions and hard work.

Healthcare 2015 and U.S. health plans: New roles, new competencies: The U.S. healthcare system is on an unsustainable path. Health plan providers must help shape and lead the healthcare transformation or risk being marginalized.

In the interest of the patient: This paper explores how by collaborating and sharing data, the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries can realize the full value of the information they collect--and improve patient treatments.

From HealthLeaders Magazine
Faith in the Hospital
In a shifting healthcare world, faith-based systems face a new set of challenges in their quest to stay true to their mission. [Read More]