HealthLeaders Media Finance - March 16, 2009 | Unfree and Unfair Union Elections Will Cost You Money View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Unfree and Unfair Union Elections
Will Cost You Money

Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Finance

You've been distracted, so you are forgiven for not paying attention to legislation in Congress not labeled "stimulus" or "budget." But your congressmen might be attacking your organization right under your nose through legislation that would make it easier for unions to organize your labor force. Healthcare is squarely in the bill's sights. And if you think it can't happen, you're fooling yourself. [Read More]

  March 16, 2009

Editor's Picks
Wal-Mart plans to market digital health records system
Look out, healthcare IT vendors. With $19 billion available in the federal stimulus package for healthcare IT, Wal-Mart smells money in your niche. And when Wal-Mart attacks, your margins are going to be hit, and hit hard. The company will partner with healthcare IT vendor eClinicalWorks and Dell Computer to offer software and hardware, respectively, and some say the Wal-Mart offering will undercut competitors by as much as half. It may take the ubiquitous retailer a while to ramp up its program to market electronic medical records for physician practices, but when it does, prices will come down. They always do when Wal-Mart is involved. [Read More]
Mayo Clinic feels effects of recession, Medicare
You know things are bad when even the world-renowned Mayo Clinic faces tough financial times. The Rochester, MN-based health system says it barely broke even in 2008 as income from patient care fell by one-third over the course of the year, even though volumes remained steady. That indicates the hospital is treating more Medicare patients in its mix, which traditionally doesn't reimburse as well as commercial payers. As well, the system lost a boatload of money in its investment portfolio over the course of the year, echoing troubles many other large and famous hospitals have faced over the course of the recession. [Read More]
Emory University suspends $1.5 billion health facility expansion
In an attempt to preserve financial flexibility, Emory University will shelve plans to begin work this year on a $1.5 billion medical expansion project, which included an entirely new hospital that would add 300 beds to the main facility and was to include a large outpatient clinic. Expansion plans will be delayed at least a year, says CEO John Fox. [Read More]
Finance Forum
The Great Deleveraging or Back to Basics?
The cause of recent problems in healthcare finance can't be explained simply by arguing that hospitals took on too much debt when debt was cheap. The real culprit, says HealthLeaders Media guest columnist Arlan Dohrmann, is too much financial complexity. Too many healthcare executives took on very complex financial instruments and misunderstood all types of risk inherent in these complex financial products. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Carolinas HealthCare loses $551 million for year
Charlotte Business Journal - March 10, 2009
Missouri Medicaid plan would shift costs to hospitals
Kansas City Star - March 9, 2009
Deal frees up $2 million for New Orleans-area hospital
New Orleans Times-Picayune - March 10, 2009
Tenet settles California nurse pay lawsuit for $85 million
San Francisco Chronicle - March 11, 2009
Landmarks panel approves St. Vincent's patient tower in New York
New York Times - March 10, 2009
21% of Americans struggle to pay medical bills
USA Today - March 11, 2009
Atlanta's Grady cuts 150 jobs
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - March 11, 2009
HCA sues Virginia county to overturn hospital vote
Washington Post - March 11, 2009
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
SOS: Public Hospitals
HealthLeaders August 2008 On the brink even during good economic times, many public hospitals are operating in technical insolvency amid a painful recession. But they can take heart from following the example of two that have managed well. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Beyond Obstetrics
A changing female demographic has created new opportunities for hospitals to grow the women's health service line into much more than just labor and delivery. [Read More]
Money Talk

Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, Jackson, MS
Rating: A-
Outlook: Negative
Affected Debt: $220 million
Agency: Standard & Poor's
Remarks: Rating lowered from A because of weakened operating performance in fiscal 2008 and a general decline in admissions in fiscal 2008 and continuing into 2009.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

Squeezing More from Your Insurer: The trend of employers saving on healthcare costs by cost-shifting to their employees has largely run its course. In this week's installment, I visit with David Neikrug, chief executive officer of Optimatum Group LLC, a company that helps employers maximize health benefits while optimizing their costs. Neikrug talks about how companies are managing to cut their healthcare costs in ways that don't involve shifting costs directly onto employees.
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Finance

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