HealthLeaders Media Finance - September 21, 2009 | Facing a $100 Million Loss, Downey Regional Files Chapter 11 View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Facing a $100 Million Loss, Downey Regional Files Chapter 11
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media

Downey Regional Medical Center has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to escape unprofitable HMO contracts in favor of patients in preferred provider organizations. Just about everything went wrong that could possibly go wrong financially with the 199-bed nonprofit hospital, managers acknowledged in documents sent to employees last week. Most important, hospital officials weren't aware of it until recently. Internal reviews recognized a loss of nearly $100 million from financial reserves to cover operating expenses over the past decade, or about $1 million a month. [Read More]
  September 21, 2009

Editor's Picks
Five Health Leaders Respond to Baucus Bill
The Senate Finance Committee released its highly anticipated health reform bill, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated to cost $856 billion over 10 years. The committee's chair, Max Baucus, claims that amount would be paid mostly through "increased focus on quality, efficiency, prevention, and adjustments in federal health program payments, without adding to the federal deficit," according to Baucus in a statement. But what do health leaders think about the bill. Here are five takes on the issue. [Read More]
Providers Seek Information on Medicaid Integrity Contractors
At this point, thanks to a three-year demonstration project and a plethora of information available for providers, the healthcare industry generally knows what providers are up against in terms of RAC audits. Unfortunately, comparatively few providers seem to know what to expect with Medicaid Integrity Program audits—which have already begun in many areas across the nation—and in many cases, information that could help them is lacking. [Read More]
Where Would the Baucus Bill's $774 Billion Go?
The Senate Finance Committee may change drastically over the next week, but it's still helpful to look at where the dollars may be coming or going with the proposed legislation. According to the Congressional Budget Office, enacting the Finance Committee proposal would result in reducing the number of nonelderly people who are uninsured by about 29 million—leaving about 25 million nonelderly residents uninsured. The bill also includes billions toward expanding Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, providing subsidies to help low-income people buy insurance, and offering tax credits to help small employers insure their workers. [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
Many Children in CHIP Receive Little or No Care
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 18, 2009
New tax in Senate health plan draws bipartisan fire
New York Times, September 18, 2009
Medicare to fund medical home model
Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2009
Nonprofit hospitals dodge excise-tax bullet in Baucus bill
Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2009
Hospitals Could Suffer From Public Plan
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 16, 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.
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]

October 29: Flexible Medical Staff Models of the Future
October 22: Marketing to Physicians: Build Relationships to Increase Referrals