HealthLeaders Media Finance - April 26, 2010 | HUD 242: It's No Housing Tax Credit, But It's Helpful for Some Hospitals' Debts View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
HUD 242: It's No Housing Tax Credit, But It's Helpful for Some Hospitals' Debts
Karen Minich-Pourshadi, Senior Editor-Finance

Many healthcare facilities found themselves in the business equivalent of the mortgage crisis—having too much variable rate bond debt. This misstep in risk assessment affected their credit ratings, which in turn made refinancing their debt out of variable rate bonds difficult as lenders now viewed them as riskier. It was a terrible circle to be caught in, but like the housing tax credit, the government did realize they needed to intervene on their behalf. So, in 2009 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 242 Program was amended to allow "hospitals to refinance existing loans, without requiring construction or renovation"—there was now a non-commercial lender way out for hospitals. [Read More]

  April 26, 2010

Editor's Picks
Healthcare cost increase is projected for new law
A government analysis of the new healthcare law says it will not slow the overall growth of health spending because the expansion of insurance and services to 34 million people will offset cost reductions in Medicare and other programs. Some provisions of the law, including cutbacks in Medicare payments to healthcare providers and a tax on high-cost employer-sponsored coverage, would slow the growth of health costs, according to a report by chief Medicare actuary Richard S. Foster. Savings are always welcome—then again, find out when, and how, those savings will begin to be offset. [Read More]
Payment Cut: If It's Truly That Bad, Hospitals Should Drop Government
A tenth of a percent cut doesn't sound like much, but the American Hospital Association says if a hospital inpatient and long-term care prospective payment system proposed rule for fiscal 2011 is allowed to stand as is, billions of dollars would be taken out of the system just as hospitals are grappling with sweeping changes and payment reductions contained in the new health reform legislation. If their lobbying group is truly representative of its membership, hospitals are very unhappy with the proposed rule for fiscal 2011. If everyone is so unhappy, then should they drop government payments? HealthLeaders Media Senior Editor Phil Betbeze asks that very question, and you'll want to hear the answer. [Read More]
What's Your Leadership Team's Story?
Tell us what you and your team are doing to succeed. The seventh annual Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare Awards deadline is swiftly approaching. The award celebrates stories of great healthcare leadership in hospitals, health plans, and medical group practices. There are five categories: large hospitals and health systems (500 or more licensed beds); community and mid-sized hospitals (100 to 499 licensed beds); small hospitals (fewer than 100 licensed beds); health plans (state, regional, and national); and medical group practices (physician-owned, single- or multi-specialty groups employing 25 or more physicians). Winners will be announced nationally and profiled in an issue of HealthLeaders magazine. [Learn More]
Finance Forum
Tort Reform: Has it Helped the Medical Community?
Much has been made over the past couple of years nationally regarding individual state's various versions of tort reform. Many in the healthcare industry have probably asked whether it has done much to negate lawsuits, lower medical malpractice premiums, and positively impact the medical environment. With the recent healthcare bill doing very little to help with tort reform and hence encouraging fewer lawsuits, individual state's tort reform legislation could be more important than ever. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
2010's 1Q Hospital Mass Layoffs Keep Pace with 2009's Record Levels
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - April 23, 2009
Bill on finance wins approval of Senate panel
New York Times - April 26, 2010
Reform and Massachusetts
New York Times - April 26, 2010
CMS Actuary: Reform Law Would Push Spending Up By 1%
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - April 26, 2010
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Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Ohio Valley General Hospital, Pittsburgh
Rating: Baa3
Outlook: Negative
Affected Debt: $34 million
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
Remarks: Downgraded the bond rating to Baa3 from Baa2, affecting $34 million of debt. The outlook remains negative reflecting Ohio Valley's flat volume trends, higher operating losses in FY 2009 and through the second quarter FY 2010, a decline in market share, and growing challenges associated with retaining physicians in the competitive Pittsburgh market.
Audio Feature

Create Extra Capacity, Without Extra Expense: Wayne Keathley, president of New York's Mt. Sinai Medical Center, discusses adding 10,000 patient discharges per year by working on accountability and efficiency in patient throughput. [Listen Now]
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