HealthLeaders Media Finance - April 21, 2008 | Revenue Cycle Massage, Anyone? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Revenue Cycle Massage, Anyone?
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

In very few, if any, other businesses do we hear so much about the "revenue cycle." Maximizing the revenue cycle. Transforming the revenue cycle. Massaging the revenue cycle? Maybe not. But all I know from the amount of noise on the matter is that the revenue cycle is darn important. You CFOs know that too. [Read More]
  April 21, 2008

Editor's Picks
GE's dismal earnings a warning for medical device companies
One of my hobbies is picking stocks. Don't ask. If I was doing great, I'd run my own mutual fund or something. But this article caught my eye only because it says something about hospitals getting a little traction with medical device companies regarding how much they're paying for their products. In fact, I just hosted a webcast about it last week. A lot of hospitals have been getting much more sophisticated about how they buy the kinds of physician operating room preference items that these companies specialize in—perhaps helping drive down their prices. It's a stretch, I realize, to come to that conclusion based on one company's earnings miss during a massive credit crisis, but it is interesting, nonetheless. [Read More]
Former senators tackle health issues
George Mitchell's looking for another gig after his report on steroid use in baseball, and it looks like he's found it. This is not necessarily a healthcare finance story, but I have gotten pretty good at convincing my editors that there's almost always a healthcare finance angle to every story about healthcare. Even though our elected representatives in Congress seem to have a hard time agreeing on much regarding healthcare reform, seems as though our former elected senators might actually have some common ground. Maybe that's because they're past posturing to the electorate so that they hold onto their jobs for another six years. In any case, this collaboration between former Republican senators Bob Dole and Howard Baker and former Democratic senators Tom Daschle and Mitchell may produce some interesting recommendations for the new Congress and new president, whomever they might be. [Read More]
Feds try to cut cost of hospital errors
The new Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule hit last Monday, and it's going to be more important than ever that hospitals take steps to document "present on admission" health problems with their patients as well as prevent hospital-acquired maladies. In it, CMS proposed adding nine new "never events" to the list of things it will no longer pay for, and added 43 new quality measures to the 30 hospitals must report on to receive a full market basket update. The rule is expected to save Medicare about $50 million annually over each of the next three years. [Read More]
Starting up as a CFO
You'll have to register to read it, and it's not about healthcare CFOs in particular, but here's an interesting survey about new CFOs from McKinsey & Co. Among its findings: About three quarters of new CFOs initiated (or developed a plan to initiate) fundamental changes in the job's core activities during the first hundred days. The rest were summarily fired. Just kidding—making sure you were reading carefully. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Estimating Problems and Potential in Employee Health Management (Part I)
The number of hospitals and integrated systems that are investing in employee health management is increasing all the time. Their investments may be limited to their own employees, in order to control costs and optimize work force performance, or be focused on EHM as a revenue- or "public relations-"generating service line for other employers. They may be limited to modest amounts and scope, or be a major strategic element. But whatever the application, estimating the size of the EHM "problem" and "potential" is a critical element in planning and managing, as well as evaluating the investments to be made. (Part one of a two-part article.) [Read More]
Finance Headlines
California medical center is cool to suitor Prime Healthcare
Los Angeles Times - April 17, 2008
As factories fade, hospitals step in
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - April 15, 2008
Couple gives $25 million to Washington, DC, children's hospital
Washington Post - April 17, 2008
Tenet to sell two hospitals to USC
Los Angeles Times - April 15, 2008
Louisiana hospital grows
New Orleans Times-Picayune - April 16, 2008
Atlanta hospital's budget still in the red
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - April 16, 2008
NYU Medical Center gets another $100 million gift
New York Times - April 16, 2008
Sutter Health's 2007 report reflects a 'pretty stable' company
Sacramento Bee - April 14, 2008
Upcoming Events
HealthLeaders Media News - April 21, 2008
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Faith in the Hospital
HealthLeaders April 2008 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]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Touro Infirmary, New Orleans, LA

Rating: BBB-
Outlook: Negative
Affected Debt: $97.7 million
Agency: Standard & Poor's
Remarks: Bond rating lowered because of weakened financial profile due in part to Hurricane Katrina. Losses have moderated somewhat since the storm, but are still sizable at $24.5 million through the first 11 months of the fiscal year.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

Rewarding Quality: Barry Arbuckle, CEO of MemorialCare Medical Centers in Long Beach, CA, talks about the importance of developing quality measurement tools that are as robust as financial measurement systems that have been in place for years. Arbuckle argues that the two metrics are becoming tied closer and closer together as hospitals are more frequently rewarded financially for quality patient outcomes. [Listen Now]
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