HealthLeaders Media Finance - February 2, 2009 | Take Advantage of Your Crisatunity View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Take Advantage of Your Crisatunity
Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

Public companies announced more than 100,000 layoffs last week, and you can be sure that private and nonprofit organizations—including hospitals and physician practices—are following suit. But as you make these tough decisions, you might be well-served to remember some sage advice from a not-so-smart cartoon character. [Read More]

  February 2, 2009

Editor's Picks
WakeMed resumes bond sales . . . gingerly
A much delayed bond sale at North Carolina's WakeMed hospital system is back on after it was delayed last fall. Perhaps this means the credit markets are thawing somewhat, but I think it's more of a risk-reward equation for WakeMed, which has several tough-to-delay expansions and renovations. The sale certainly doesn't mean things are back to normal, says CFO Michael DeVaughn. WakeMed, a AA- rated system, still had to jump through a variety of hoops, plus pay about 6% interest in a low-rate environment, to sell the bonds. [Read More]
Academic medical centers' investments fall sharply
Moody's released a report last Monday that showed how much investments at academic medical centers have suffered in the past year. Some lost more than 20% in six or so months, putting the screws to building plans and financial stability in general. What are they complaining about? My 401(k) was down 43% since last January. Seriously though, those that are going ahead with new building or renovation may be playing a game of Russian roulette, assuming they're using endowment funds to continue their projects. [Read More]
How do hospitals get paid? A primer
I usually don't include blogs on my recommended reading list, but I'm making an exception for Uwe Reinhardt, an economics professor at Princeton and expert on all things healthcare. Even though all of us already know how hospitals get paid, it's extremely complicated. I see myself going back to this blog entry time and again when I'm writing a story and think to myself, wait, how's that work again? It's interesting reading no matter how much of an expert you consider yourself to be. Don't forget to check out the reader responses, too. [Read More]
Back to the future with physician practice acquisition
Interesting commentary here from Carsten Beith about the fact that hospitals have returned en masse to acquiring physician practices of strategic importance. Turns out that unlike the unbridled acquisition boom in the last decade, today's acquirers tend to have the upper hand, a trend we've been hearing about for awhile here at HLM. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Evaluation of a Federal Healthcare Proposal
Federal agencies field proposals daily from organizations looking to provide them with healthcare services. Each must include a set of stated evaluation factors and/or subfactors—according to Scott Honiberg, president of Potomac Health Associates, Inc. and Jeff Weinstein, the company's counsel, it's critical to address these as thoroughly as possible to ultimately outshine the competition. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Chicago's Advocate settles with uninsured patients
Chicago Tribune - January 28, 2009
Milwaukee's ProHealth buys stake in ortho surgery center
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel - January 27, 2009
Skyrocketing costs could double premiums for Americans by 2016
Washington Post - January 28, 2009
Atlanta's Grady sends $75 million in hospital bills to Georgia counties
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - January 28, 2009
Medical offices: A nice, staid corner of real estate
New York Times - January 27, 2009
Nashville leads effort to combine health payments
The Tennessean - January 28, 2009
Courts push revision in handling of Maryland hospital debt settlements
Baltimore Sun - January 27, 2009
Minnesota medical center cuts 100 jobs
Minneapolis Star-Tribune - January 27, 2009
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Flat-World Healthcare
HealthLeaders August 2008 Globalization is no longer an uncertain trend in the distant future. U.S. providers must refine their organizational strategy to compete in a marketplace that is broader than ever before. [Read More]
Service Line Management
A Spinal Shift
As minimally invasive procedures consume a larger portion of spinal care, provider organizations have many opportunities—and challenges—in an increasingly outpatient service line. [Read More]
Money Talk

Tomball Regional Hospital, Houston
Rating: Baa3
Outlook: Negative
Affected Debt: $122 million
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
Remarks: Outlook revised from stable due to a decline in operating performance coupled with a decline in liquidity and a proposed $9.6 million OIG settlement to be paid over four years.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

Making the Financial Case for the Medical Home: Geisinger Health System's Ron Paulus and Kevin Brennan discuss the medical home goal that has eluded healthcare for years. Geisinger has developed a financial model that they think will work for a medical home going forward—one that includes a warranty for patients and an all-inclusive cost for care.
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February 24: Form 990H: Act Now to Protect Your Reputation
February 12: Incentive-Based Compensation Plans to Enhance Physician Performance
On Demand: What Your Practice Is Worth: Calculating Fair Market Value
On Demand: Financial Meltdown: Managing Through the Crisis
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