HealthLeaders Media Finance - June 9, 2008 | The Price is Wrong View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
The Price is Wrong
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

Posting retail prices for pieces of care or even whole episodes of care is going about the whole consumer in healthcare equation all wrong. What people really want is to know what they, individually, are going to pay for care. [Read More]
  June 9, 2008

Editor's Picks
Good advice for physician-owned specialty hospitals
Physician-owned specialty hospitals are becoming an endangered species through buyouts and repeated congressional attempts to limit their construction and development. In this article, Cain Brothers’ Jamie King provides an update on proposed federal legislation to limit physician ownership of hospitals, and he suggests several strategies that existing physician-owned hospitals should be evaluating to protect and maximize shareholder value. [Read More]
NYC hospital says it will close if it can’t build tower
Is it political brinksmanship or just reality? That’s the question the New York City Landmarks Commission must consider when they decide whether St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan can demolish several buildings on its campus to build a new patient tower on the site. St. Vincent’s recently emerged from a turnaround effort that I wrote about last year in the magazine and I remember Guy Sansone, the man in charge of the turnaround from Alvarez & Marsal, mentioning at the time that a new patient tower was in the works. Looks like it’s put up or shut up time. [Read More]
Washington-based hospital system to try in-store clinics
Rite-Aid, at least anecdotally, seems to be winning the initial battles for partnerships with hospitals to brand its in-store health clinics. Wal-Mart made a big splash with a press release about several partnerships, but has not apparently actually inked any of them yet, as I’ve discovered in my reporting for a story to come in July’s HealthLeaders magazine. Something may change between now and then, but in the meantime, with clinic deals signed with Sutter Health in California and MedStar Health in Baltimore-Washington, you have to consider Rite-Aid the leader in this trend. [Read More]
A city where hospitals are as ill as the patients
When county-run King Harbor hospital was shut down by the feds in late 2007, it became the 15th hospital to shut down in the Los Angeles area since 2000, leaving a vast number of uninsured people to try to somehow cobble together medical care. Los Angeles hospitals might have it worse than other areas, but the huge financial problems facing the nation’s public hospitals from treating uninsured patients are by no means limited to southern California. [Read More]
Hospital seeks to grow at University of North Carolina
When the CEO of University of North Carolina Hospitals tells our Jim Molpus for a recent HealthLeaders magazine cover story that it wants to grow, it's apparently not kidding. The hospital is seeking state approval to spend $732 million for a new patient tower, a move that would bring its total beds to 1,009. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Using Credit Scoring To Manage Hospital Bad Debt
Many hospitals have had stable performance over the past 20 years. But infrastructure demands and changes in reimbursement dynamics will create huge financial challenges over the next decade. Health system executives face aging physical plants, the need to invest in expensive new technologies, impending cuts in public reimbursement, and difficulties in recruiting allied health professionals, among other issues. HealthLeaders Media contributor Brian Klepper writes that using strategies such as credit scoring to try to reduce the amount of bad debt hospitals must deal with is essential in today's environment. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Congress may prod doctors toward electronic prescriptions
AP/Boston Globe - June 4, 2008
GE, Pittsburgh hospital establish imaging business
AP/Yahoo News - June 5, 2008
St. Vincent’s gets final OK for Clay County, FL, hospital
Jacksonville Business Journal - June 4, 2008
Hopkins says CareFirst owes $2 million in claims
Baltimore Business Journal - May 30, 2008
Hospital juggernaut adding three properties in California
Los Angeles Times - June 3, 2008
Hospitals put patients’ debt up for auction
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - June 3, 2008
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Shared Success
HealthLeaders May 2008 Crafting a true partnership—often with a perceived competitor—is a complex task. Here's how some hospitals are doing it. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, Elmhurst, IL

Rating: Baa1
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $247 million
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
Remarks: Downgrade from A2 because of a 151% increase in debt and a recent downtrend of inpatient volume.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

The High Cost of Obesity: HealthLeaders Media senior finance editor Philip Betbeze speaks with Joan Roberts, senior director at Novation, the contracting services arm of VHA, about the increasing costs to hospitals for treating the obese, who unfortunately are a growing portion of the patient mix at most hospitals. [Listen Now]

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