HealthLeaders Media Corner Office - September 25, 2009 | Hospitals All Clear With Bill's Meager Charity Care Requirements View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Hospitals All Clear With Bill's Meager
Charity Care Requirements

Philip Betbeze, Senior Editor-Leadership

Unveiled last week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus' bill seems the last best hope for the Democrats' version of healthcare reform. Healthcare reform has been analyzed to death, but buried within the Baucus bill are some new requirements for hospitals to meet charity care standards, which are currently very loose and subject to interpretation. Looks like they'll stay that way.
[Read More]
  September 25, 2009

Editor's Picks
Heart Disease is no Longer Leading Reason for Patient Admission
My colleague Cheryl Clark reports that the Agency for Health Research and Quality has found that heart disease has dropped from the number one reason for hospital admissions to number three, largely due to better control of risk factors, like smoking, cholesterol, and blood pressure. However, there's also bad news in the report: Septicemia, or serious bacterial blood infections, have risen 63% as a reason for hospital admissions in a decade. Pneumonia is now the top reason for hospital admissions. [Read More]
Four Lessons From Massachusetts Health Reform
Les Masterson, our senior health plans editor here at HealthLeaders Media, offers four suggestions for legislators crafting so-called healthcare reform legislation. Let's hope legislators are listening to these lessons learned from Massachusetts' program, which has been successful in a number of ways—but could be better. [Read More]
Illinois Court Case Spotlights Hospital Tax Exemptions
I've been covering healthcare for nine years, and for seven of them, this Illinois controversy about property tax exemptions for nonprofit hospitals has dragged on. Now the case of the state versus Provena Covenant Medical Center has reached the Illinois Supreme Court. Problem is, over time the hospital has changed its ways significantly. Although the court has jurisdiction only in Illinois, hospitals elsewhere fear a decision against Provena Covenant could give lawmakers and members of Congress ideas on ways to help pay for medical services by revoking tax exemptions. [Read More]
Mandate minus price controls could accelerate healthcare cost increases
This is a great enterprise piece. Because lawmakers have rejected cost controls on health insurers' premium increases while at the same time expressing general support for requiring health insurance, look for healthcare costs to continue to increase rapidly. Legislation that combines these two factors is likely to create a "captive market," many experts say, and a gold mine for health insurers. Ever wonder why so many "regular folks" prefer Congressional inaction? This kind of thing, where the little guy is the only voice not being heard, is why. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
CEO's Mangled Message Carries Weight
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - September 21, 2009
Biden: Insurers Need to Abide by New Ground Rules
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - September 23, 2009
Democrats spar over Obama's deal with drug industry
New York Times - September 23, 2009
Northwestern Memorial to buy Lake Forest (IL) Hospital
Chicago Tribune - September 23, 2009
Hip Hop Doc Raps About Flu Prevention
Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media - September 24, 2009
Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess picks chairman
Boston Globe - September 24, 2009
Dell, Perot Merger Could Impact HIT
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - September 22, 2009
CMS Tells Insurers to Stop Health Reform-Related Mailings
Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media - September 22, 2009
Webcasts/Audio conferences
RAC Strategy: Preserve Margin, Prevent Take-backs, Promote Alignment (November 11)
Flexible Medical Staff Models of the Future (October 29, 2009)
Marketing to Physicians: Build Relationships to Increase Referrals (October 22)
Sponsored Headlines
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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]
View from the Top

Post-acute Care as a Winning Strategy in Recessionary Times: When acute care hospitals and health systems are developing marketing and growth strategies, which are especially important in this economic downturn, post-acute care opportunities frequently fall to the bottom of the list. However, like the tortoise that is slow and steady yet wins the race, post-acute programs consistently offer a strong return on investment to those providers with the insight to include these programs in their planning efforts. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Making the Most of Physician Alignment: I spoke recently with Arthur "Bud" McDowell, MD, vice president of Clinical Affairs for Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, CT. We discussed physician alignment strategies in the face of probable healthcare reform, as well as the changes his hospital has made to more closely align cost and quality. [Listen Now]
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