HealthLeaders Media Finance - May 11, 2009 | Back to the Future With Consolidation View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Back to the Future With Consolidation
Michelle Ponte, Senior Editor-Finance

More hospitals and health systems are seeking to affiliate from just one year ago, according to a new industry survey. In fact, healthcare may be on the edge of the next consolidation wave, says Kathleen Henchey, principal at Noblis Center for Health Innovation, which conducted the research. But this time around, a few things have changed. [Read More]
  May 11, 2008

Editor's Picks
Massachusetts seeks to revamp way doctors, hospitals are paid
Physicians and hospitals have been put on notice in Massachusetts that fees from insurers could be cut drastically. A state commission says it will recommend to the governor and legislators that the state adopt a system in which insurers pay a single yearly, rather than a negotiated, fee for all of a patient's healthcare services. In other words, it's back to capitation. The change could come as soon as three years. But it seems unlikely that hospitals and physicians can coordinate care that quickly. [Read More]
Obama's Budget Targets Healthcare Improvements
President Barack Obama presented his $3.4 trillion budget and says he intends to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Some of these cuts will be on the back of Medicare Advantage. Insurers can expect cuts in Medicare Advantage payments of between 4% and 4.5% by 2010. This alone could save the government $22 billion annually. The president's budget also doubles funding for cancer research, accelerates adoption of health information technology, and reduces drug costs. But, as usual, there are still more questions than answers. [Read More]
Switching Accreditors: Will it Interrupt Medicare Reimbursement?
Hospitals can now use three accrediting organizations. But will a switch cause problems with Medicare reimbursement? Not necessarily. When a hospital decides to go with a new accrediting organization, a couple of things can happen: Either the two will work out a transition plan to move the hospital to the new accrediting organization or the current AO will withdraw the hospital's accreditation. If the hospital happens to get caught between two AOs with no accreditation, it is placed under the State Survey Agency jurisdiction. Reimbursement, however, remains uninterrupted, no matter what scenario plays out, say Medicare experts. [Read More]
Can I Still Sell My MOBs?
Need access to capital? Try monetizing your medical office building. With less access to the debt capital markets, more hospitals and health systems are looking for capital in MOB real estate, says Tim Schier of Cain Brothers. Before you jump into a deal, though, make sure you know the market today. In particular, it is crucial to understand pricing trends, current deal sizes, and who is likely to buy your building. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Ten Strategies for Capturing All Reimbursements
Healthcare providers can mitigate the impact of the recession and protect their long-term financial outlook by deploying strategies on the front-end of a patient visit to capture all reimbursements. HealthLeaders Media guest columnist Jeff Drake says one simple action providers can take is to increase collection points. West Virginia University Hospitals nearly doubled its point-of-service collections in three years following the installation of credit card processing systems in its hospital and physician clinics. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Budget plans for healthcare overhaul
Wall Street Journal - May 8, 2009
Medicare actuaries lower the boom on proposed 2010 IP payments
Sg2 - May 7, 2009
Tenet Healthcare swings to 1Q profit
AP/Yahoo News - May 5, 2009
WellCare agrees to pay $80 million to settle Medicaid case
Wall Street Journal - May 6, 2009
Report: Medicare Advantage 'Extra Payments' Will Reach $11.4 Billion This Year
Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media - May 4, 2009
CHS Acquires 10th PA Hospital
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - May 4, 2009
Tennessee firm works to ensure health costs' accuracy
The Tennessean - May 4, 2009
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Jump . . . or Get Pushed
HealthLeaders April 2009 The tough decisions you don't want to make now—but may have to. [Read More]
Service Lines Management
Redefining Cardio
The cardiovascular service line remains a dependable revenue generator for many hospitals across the country. But a shifting market full of new options for patients means organizations must find ways to differentiate themselves to keep it that way. [Read More]
Money Talk

Regional West Medical Center, Scotts Bluff, NE
Rating: Baa1
Outlook: Negative
Affected Debt: $79.7 million
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
Remarks: The rating downgrade from A3 is reflective of lower operating cash flow over the past two years and the continued expense of employing large numbers of physicians. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Preparing for RAC Appeals: With the RAC program being rolled out permanently nationwide, preparing for the appeals process is more important now than ever. Ed Gaines, vice president and chief compliance officer with CBIZ Medical Management Professionals, an organization that provides medical coding, billing and physician practice management services to hospital-based physicians across the U.S., describes how hospitals are handling the appeals process. [Listen Now]

May 12: Service Lines Strategies Workshop: Cardiovascular Physician Alignment
June 17: HIPAA Changes: New Compliance Strategies for New Marketing Models
June 26: ICU Overhaul 2009: Strategies to Reduce Costs and Improve Quality
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