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Cash Incentives Help Improve Hospital Quality
Michelle Ponte, Senior Editor-Finance

Having an incentive to do better works for kids and it works in business because we humans are hardwired, for the most part, to want to do our very best. In the case of 260 hospitals that are part of CMS and Premier Inc.'s value based purchasing project, having financial and other incentives to improve quality is making a difference in five clinical areas, according to recent analysis of the project. [Read More]
  August 10, 2009

Editor's Picks
Democrats say no to cost cap for drug makers
The game of how much can we squeeze from the pharmaceutical industry is on. While the Senate Finance Committee in June got the drug industry to concede $80 billion over 10 years to help reduce healthcare costs, it looks like the deal isn't quite as generous as some politicians thought. In fact, it turns out that the White House says Medicare drug price negotiation is not included in this deal. House Democrats are saying they will fight the White House on this point. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn't seem too worried by any White House deal, saying she's confident that legislators will be able to squeeze at least another $80 billion from drugmakers. [Read More]
Healthcare Sector Job Growth Continues Off Pace
While the economy is still suffering and the unemployment rate in the month of July remained at 9.4%, healthcare jobs continued to rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 247,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were dropped, while healthcare jobs grew by nearly 20,000. Overall, healthcare added 149,800 new jobs in the first seven months of 2009. In the first seven months of 2008, the healthcare sector grew by 217,100 new jobs. Nearly half of job growth in the healthcare sector continues to be in ambulatory healthcare services, which reported 9,600 new jobs in July and 96,300 new jobs in the first seven months of 2009. [Read More]
How a CEO bounced French Hospital back from bankruptcy's brink
Here's a story from my colleague Cheryl Clark about a community and physicians who wouldn't give up on their local hospital despite myriad problems, including a deteriorating facility and poor management. In 2000, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, CA, hemorrhaged nearly $2.7 million. Its problems ranged from a leaky roof and deteriorating cardiac equipment to an exodus of physicians. The hospital was in jeopardy of shuttering in 2004, when a plucky group of 50 physicians purchased the property and brought on Catholic Healthcare West to operate the hospital. CHW gave the hospital a capital injection, brought back key former leaders, and began working with the community to learn what citizens wanted in their hospital. The average daily census for fiscal year 2008 is up 33% from fiscal year 2005 and pre-tax net income in 2008 was $6.8 million. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Small Business Set-Asides in Federal Healthcare Contracting: The Rule of Two
Scott Honiberg and Jeff Weinstein of Potomac Health Associates say federal contracting can create significant opportunities for all kinds of healthcare providers. However, be alert, they warn, for set-asides that seem unduly restrictive or, conversely, ones that are unrestricted but should be set aside based on facts known to you. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
St. Joseph's hospital's deadline insurance deal keeps patients insured
Atlanta Journal Constitution – August 8, 2009
Insurers' rating outlooks take tumble because of health reform
Les Masterson for HealthLeaders Media – August 7, 2009
Lifepoint Hospitals misses expectations in 2Q
Nashville Business Journal – August 7, 2009
Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals get stable bond ratings from Standard & Poor's
Cleveland Plain Dealer – August 6, 2009
TennCare has new way to pursue crooked providers
The Tennessean – August 5, 2009
CMS' IPPS Final Rule includes 2.1% increase
Lisa Eramo, for HealthLeaders Media - August 3, 2009
McCarthy Grady Health's new CFO
Atlanta Business Chronicle – August 3, 2009
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Time For 'Dr. Next'?
HealthLeaders July 2009 Generation X and its life-balancing, tech-oriented, team-playing doctors is taking over. But what kind of healthcare will they give us? [Read More]
Service Line Management
Prepare for the Cancer Boom
Aligning the right cancer care team and utilizing the appropriate technology is essential for maintaining a patient-centered service line. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare (IL)
Rating: Baa1
Outlook: Negative
Affected Debt: $502.4 million
Agency: Moody’s Investors Service
Remarks: Outlook was revised from stable and is reflective of a high debt burden and declining inpatient volume and market share.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

Planning for a Public Health Plan: Georganne Chapin, president and CEO of Hudson Health Plan in New York, says a public health plan is a critical part of healthcare reform, but fears a health insurance exchange will just create another layer of bureaucracy at an enormous cost. [Sponsored by Emdeon] [Listen Now]
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August 20: Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Gastroenterology
August 18: Advanced Service Line Marketing: New Orthopedics Growth Strategies
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