HealthLeaders Media Finance - June 1, 2010 | Is A Double Whammy Ahead for Hospitals and Healthcare Reform? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Is A Double Whammy Ahead for Hospitals and Healthcare Reform?
Karen Minich-Pourshadi, Senior Editor-Finance

Expanded healthcare coverage is both a blessing and a curse—it really all depends on whether you are the patient or the hospital. The newly signed Patient Protection Act is designed to help millions of uninsured patients get proper healthcare coverage, yet the fallout from that coverage is likely to have some less-than-desired effects for hospitals and their bottom lines. [Read More]

  June 1, 2010

Editor's Picks
If Massachusetts is a Bellwether, Insurers May Soon Cut Payments
Massachusetts is providing a testing ground for national healthcare policy. While the U.S. Congress is only beginning a debate about regulating and capping insurance premium increases, the Massachusetts government has already denied proposed rate hikes, and insurers' reactions in the state may foreshadow what's to come at the national level. HealthLeaders Media Editor Elyas Bakhtiari looks at what's happening in Massachusetts and how it could predict future changes for healthcare nationally. [Read More]
Don't Cut Here! Lower Inpatient Satisfaction Scores an Ominous Sign
Cost savings were the order of the day in 2009. Many hospitals responded with innovative cost cutting strategies, including asking their employees to identify waste and help save jobs. Many other hospitals and health systems responded to the economic crisis by laying off workers, while others were able to avoid laying off people in the clinical space in favor of administrative layoffs. But even those layoffs appear to have taken their toll on consumer satisfaction, a survey reveals. HealthLeaders Media Editor Philip Betbeze looks at the American Consumer Satisfaction Index to see how hospitals fare compared to 10 other economic sectors. [Read More]
Finance Forum
What's Hiding in Your Vendor Inventories?
Today, most hospital business offices rely on third-party vendors such as collection agencies, extended business office partners, and eligibility firms to augment their internal collection efforts. Every day, accounts and financial updates flow back and forth between a hospital and its vendors. Despite everyone's best intentions, the current operating routines and processes often result in inconsistencies between the inventory records of a hospital and its vendors. Always thought to be a relatively minor issue, recent research suggests the inventory reconciliation problem is significant, pervasive, and critical—and it can lead to lost cash and high operating costs, or even create regulatory issues and major public relations problems. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
How to stretch the federal high-risk health coverage pool budget
Wall Street Journal Health Blog - June 1, 2009
With health reform, familiarity is breeding contempt
Washington Post - May 1, 2010
States Will Pay Little for Reform's Medicaid Expansion
Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media - May 27, 2010
Massachusetts insurers may slash rates to hospitals
Boston Globe - 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

Lake Forest (IL) Hospital Foundation
Rating: Aa2
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $71 million
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
Remarks: Moody's has upgraded the bond rating for Lake Forest Hospital to Aa2 from A3, reflecting a change in corporate structure and imminent change in bondholder security.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

Lessons Learned for Keeping RAC at Bay: Karen Bowden, president of ClaimTrust Consulting Services, a Tennessee-based in-hospital revenue cycle consulting firm, discusses what lessons her company has learned to help guide facilities through a RAC audit. [Listen Now]
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June 2: Seamless Systems of Care: Better Alignment, Coordination, and Outcomes
June 23: Cardiovascular Service Lines Strategies
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