HealthLeaders Media Finance - May 24, 2010 | Healthcare Reform and the Economy: Are Either Looking Up? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Healthcare Reform and the Economy: Are Either Looking Up?
Karen Minich-Pourshadi, Senior Editor-Finance

I was struck recently by the conflicting predictions some healthcare and financial industry experts are offering regarding healthcare reform's impact on the healthcare industry. This May, a lot of folks in the know have weighed in on what the economy and the new law will mean for healthcare's financial outlook. Some experts are saying things are looking up, while others are saying things don't look so good. It's hard to know whom to believe; moreover if you're a CFO and attempting to do any predictive modeling or risk assessment for your facility, you have to decide which information to plug in. [Read More]

  May 24, 2010

Editor's Picks
Whistleblowers Say Money Is Not Their Motivation
A spate of very large whistleblower settlements in the healthcare sector amounting to billions of dollars in fines have been reported over the last few years. For the most part, the big ticket fines are directed at pharmaceutical companies. However, hospitals are not immune from prosecution and neither of physicians. But what motivates a whistleblower? Our Senior Editor John Commins gets to the bottom of this. [Read More]
Domo Arigato, Doctor Roboto
Telehealth and remote medicine are hot topics these days, widely regarded as fields that are about to explode—from remote radiology readings to ICU monitoring by off-site intensivists, to e-visits during which the patient and physician consult via video. But perhaps the most futuristic use of these technologies is the doctor robot: a device that allows the doctor to "walk" (or, perhaps more accurately, roll) into a room and examine his or her patient. So, is it worth the investment? [Read More]
Self-Pay and the Bottom Line
Self-pay receivable levels a have increased significantly in the past year and smaller hospitals are seeing the greatest increases, according to a 2009 Healthcare Financial Management Association study. The findings indicate that receivables are now growing faster than patient revenue at nearly a third of hospitals and another third of hospitals have seen self-pay grow by 10% or more. With such a significant increase, many financial leaders are looking to walk new paths to decrease the number of self-pay patients, while also working toward optimizing point-of-service collections—while ensuring they don't alienate their patients in the process. Learn more about this topic in this month's edition of HealthLeaders magazine. [Read More]
Editor's Note
Due to the Memorial Day holiday Monday, HealthLeaders Media Finance will publish Tuesday, June 1.
Finance Forum
An Industry in Flux: Five Quick Tips for Slashing Healthcare Costs
The mighty transition facing the healthcare industry can be intimidating, especially when healthcare organizations consider the potential for high expenses associated with changes to processes and workflow. There are ways to mitigate these expenses and even reduce overall operational costs, with the added benefit of supporting staff through the changes and reducing the learning curve of new technology solutions. One area that hospitals can tackle is document inefficiency. Document inefficiency continues to be an enormous cost driver in the healthcare industry, and here are five tips to slash those costs and keep healthcare institutions productive. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
The Christ Hospital, Health Alliance Pay $108M to Settle Whistleblower Suit
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - May 24, 2009
Doc Groups Respond Over Proposal to Extend SGR Delay Three More Years
Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media - May 24, 2010
Hospital Satisfaction Drops While Overall Consumer Satisfaction Rises
Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media - May 21, 2010
New tax break for healthcare gets mixed review
Associated Press - May 24, 2010
Nine California hospitals fined for medical errors
Los Angeles Times - May 21, 2010
High-tech alternatives to high-cost care
New York Times - May 24, 2010
Young doctors getting defensive medicine lessons early on
American Medical News - May 24, 2010
Keeping routine medical care out of hospital emergency rooms
Washington Post - May 24, 2010
Health reform's changes in Medicare
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - May 24, 2010
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Time to Put Patients First
HealthLeaders May 2010 How America's hospitals have lost touch with their top priority—and what healthcare leaders are doing to fix it. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Patient-Centered Surgery
Making surgery more patient-centered requires careful coordination and better feedback from patients and their families. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, OH
Rating: A2
Outlook: Negative
Affected Debt: $122 million
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
Remarks: Moody's has downgraded the Issuer Rating for Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati to A2 from A1. The downgrade reflects the impact of the separation of Christ Hospital and St. Luke's Hospital from the system, which resulted in a significant decline in unrestricted cash to modest levels and lower market share in a competitive market. Additionally, operating margins have declined from historically strong levels as the system absorbs startup costs of the new West Chester Medical Center and is experiencing larger losses at Drake Center.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

Strategies for Rural Recruitment and Retention: Jeremy Levin from the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative discusses recruitment and retention efforts. [Listen Now]
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May 19: Five Proven Steps to Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores
June 2: Seamless Systems of Care: Better Alignment, Coordination, and Outcomes
June 23: Cardiovascular Service Lines Strategies
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