HealthLeaders Media Finance - September 14, 2009 | Core Measures: Get Used to It View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Core Measures: Get Used to It
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media

A Nashville-based company that crunched numbers to rank hospital care by outcomes, process measures, and patient satisfaction data submitted to the federal government says that providers must get used to the idea of pay for performance, regardless of whether they like it or not. "Not surprisingly, many in the hospital industry are reluctant to embrace the concept of value in healthcare, though several value-based concepts have already taken hold," according to the new report by Data Advantage. [Read More]

  September 14, 2009

Editor's Picks
Cost-saving policy forces kidney transplant
This article from the New York Times connects the story of Melissa J. Whitaker's two kidney transplants to healthcare reform. Whitaker's situation is related to Medicare rules that see the government regularly pay $100,000 or more for kidney transplants, but stop paying for anti-rejection drugs after only 36 months. The healthcare bill moving through the House of Representatives includes a provision that would reverse the policy, but it is not clear whether the Senate will follow suit. The 36-month limit is one of several reimbursement rules—along with inadequate primary care payments and incentives that encourage unneeded care—that many in Congress hope to change, according to the Times. [Read More]
CEOs manage staff time, inventory to cut costs
Each of the nation's 5,700 hospitals must cut $2.6 million a year on average in costs in the next 10 years to meet the demands of President Obama's proposed healthcare reform. But according to this article from USA Today, many hospital CEOs say that the hospitals they run are rife with inefficiency and that they are optimistic that the $155 billion in savings is doable with the help of business disciplines. The article examines several efforts to cut costs at hospitals across the country. [Read More]
Blue Island, IL, hospital to cut 120 jobs
Although some news outlets have published reports that things might be looking up for the U.S. economy, we are definitely not in the clear yet. MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, IL, confirmed last week that it plans to lay off 120 employees, citing the recession and its impact on hospital admissions. "It's a direct result of a decrease in our inpatient activity, which is similar to that of other area hospitals," MetroSouth chief executive Arnold Kimmel told the Chicago Tribune. "Likewise, the layoff is similar to what other service organizations are going through particularly in this very difficult economy." [Read More]
Finance Forum
Perseverance Can Result in New Business
With the announcement of the Department of Defense TRICARE contract awards, contributors Scott Honiberg and Jeff Weinstein of Potomac Health Associates discuss issues affecting some of the largest healthcare contracts—not only in the federal marketplace, but in the entire domestic U.S. healthcare industry. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Maryland reins in hospital costs by setting rates
Wall Street Journal - September 14, 2009
Automatic cuts could help push past a health hurdle
New York Times - September 11, 2009
Nine Health Leaders Respond to Obama's Health Reform Speech
Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media - September 10, 2009
Virginia hospital dispute: Inova fears HCA will try to shift beds and services
Washington Post - September 10, 2009
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
The Patient of the Future
HealthLeaders September 2009 Physicians suggest. Patients ignore. Technology alone won't bring them together. But a new relationship just might. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Certifiable Stroke Care
With a growing emphasis on stroke center certification, hospitals must demonstrate that they have the teams in place to treat stroke patients quickly and effectively, or risk losing patients to a competitor down the road. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City
Rating: A2
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $415.4 million
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
Remarks: Rating upgraded from A3 due to a FY 2008 operating profit of $46.9 million and a favorable multi-year financial performance in a challenging market.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

Get Rid of the Paper Trail: Why should you go fully electronic when it comes to credentialing? For one, you could see as much as a 50% reduction in costs, says Matthew Haddad, president and CEO of Merversant, a company that offers Web-based credentialing to health plans. [Listen Now]
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