HealthLeaders Media Finance - July 6, 2009 | What Happened to the Spike in Uncompensated Care? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
What Happened to the Spike in Uncompensated Care?
Michelle Ponte, Senior Editor-Finance

Uncompensated care costs have not jumped nearly as high as was expected at investor-owned hospitals, considering we are in a deep recession with double digit unemployment in some states. Is it simply due to a longer than expected lag between late 2008 and now, or are hospitals doing a better job at front end collections? [Read More]

  July 6, 2009

Editor's Picks
Predictions for the coming year and beyond
What do you think will happen to healthcare in 2010? With the recession beating down on us, it is nice to think that healthcare organizations won't feel as cash strapped as they were in 2008 and 2009. According to Max Reiboldt, with the Coker Group, next year will bring more of the same problems, including less reimbursement and an increased burden on providers. He predicts a continued consolidation of services, increased government involvement, and a continued emphasis on quality and clinical outcomes. While physicians may be increasingly turning to hospitals for employment, more of their income may be based on productivity and thus more at risk, says Reiboldt. [Read More]
Frequent fliers' add billions to hospital bills
Patients who boomerang back to hospitals just days after discharge add billions of dollars in costs to the healthcare system. With bundled payments a very real possibility in the near future hospitals are looking at ways to prevent readmissions. However, some hospitals such as Inova Mount Vernon, which do a good job at preventing readmissions, don't always come out ahead in that they are not reimbursed for the extra care they provide. It's a major flaw that hasn't been worked out in current reform plans and one that may take us way past Oct. 1 to figure out. [Read More]
McAllen Critics, Obama Target Physician Entrepreneurs
Doctors in McAllen, TX, probably never imagined they would be singled out by the New Yorker, let alone President Barack Obama, as a prime example of why U.S. healthcare costs are skyrocketing. The Texas border town has been criticized by both for excessive costs in treating Medicare Advantage enrollees. The McAllen physicians are being held up as an example of a healthcare system that incentivizes doctors to perform excessive tests and procedures. However, this brouhaha that played out in the press last week has some concerned that the healthcare reform dialog is using extreme examples as the standard for what is wrong in healthcare, rather than calling it what it is: an outlier. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Advantages of Small Business Contracting
Armed with a little bit of knowledge about some of the "ins and outs" of small business contracting under federal law, a hospital or physician group will be surprised at the number of potential business opportunities that they may actually be able to create for themselves. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Primary Care Wins, Imaging Loses, Under New CMS Proposal
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - July 2, 2009
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass. Rewards Docs for Efficient Quality of Care
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - July 2, 2009
VA-based Prince William Health System merges with North Carolina's Novant
Washington Business Journal - July 2, 2009
Fraud May Account for Up to 10% of Healthcare Spending
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - July 1, 2009
Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care to eliminate 90 jobs
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - July 1, 2009
Public Plan Could Slow Healthcare Cost Increases
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - June 29, 2009
Following the money in the healthcare debate
Washington Post - June 29, 2009
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Bundling By Decree
HealthLeaders June 2009 Can an industry addicted to payment for procedure survive episodic care? Geisinger has. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Faster, Safer Joint Replacements
Hospitals are fine-tuning the surgical process from start to finish in order to replace joints faster and safer than ever before. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Provena Health System, Mokena, IL
Rating: BBB+
Outlook: Negative
Affected Debt: $175 million
Agency: Standard & Poor's
Remarks: Downgraded from A- because of operating challenges resulting in negative operating margins in 2008 and for the first four months of fiscal 2009.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

Prioritizing Capital Projects: Sandra Lawrence, CFO for Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO, discusses capital spending planning and financing strategies. [Listen Now]
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Finance

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July 22: Service Line Strategies Workshop 2009: Spine Care
August 20: Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Gastroenterology
August 18: Advanced Service Line Marketing: New Orthopedics Growth Strategies
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