HealthLeaders Media Finance - June 21, 2010 | Credit Rating Agencies Have Been Botching Some Important Ratings View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Millions Lost To Contractual Underpayments, and How My Cable Bill Can Help
Karen Minich-Pourshadi, Senior Editor-Finance

I'm about to offer you a hard pill to swallow; as many as 40% of your payers are likely underpaying you AND they aren't doing it intentionally AND they aren't violating your contracts. In fact, what's happening is actually your mistake and it's costing hospitals and practices approximately $1.5 billion, or roughly $300,000 annually per hospital. [Read More]

  June 21, 2010

Editor's Picks
Could Nonprofit Hospitals Become an Endangered Species?
Are tax breaks necessary for nonprofit hospitals and health systems any longer? That's the question HealthLeaders Media Editor Philip Betbeze asks in his column this week. He delves into the notion of, what if hospitals are no longer having to spend huge amounts covering charity care and bad debt write-offs? Will they be seen as a potentially big source of revenue not only for the feds but for state governments as well? Thoughts that are worth pondering, and reading about. [Read More]
Pay Patients Without Overpaying
Money, money, money . . . it seems that it's a great incentive for everyone. If you want physicians as a group to focus more on quality, pay them based on performance. If you want employees to quit smoking or follow routine wellness programs, give them cash incentives. If you want to remind patients to take their medication, pay them with a lottery. HealthLeaders Media Editor Elyas Bakhtiari takes a look at a New York Times profile of an Aetna-sponsored program in Philadelphia that paid patients who had been prescribed warfarin for remembering to take their medication. Find out what kind of results came from this program. [Read More]
Study: Physicians Change Treatment Patterns to Offset Payment Cuts
Cutting or changing physician reimbursement doesn't always produce the desired cost savings, as physicians are likely to increase services or switch to more profitable treatments after a cut, according to a study published in Health Affairs. The study examined how oncologist treatment patterns for lung cancer changed after the Medicare Modernization Act reduced payments for certain chemotherapy drugs beginning in 2005. Did the change in reimbursement produce the desired outcomes? Read on to learn more. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Getting Ahead of the Revenue Cycle Curve with Technology
The nation's recent economic downturn has spread the pain of increased healthcare costs from patient to provider, as outstanding provider debt has been on the increase. It's understandable that some in the healthcare industry may be saying, "If we can't get all our existing patients to pay on a timely basis now, how will we get even larger numbers to do so?" While many healthcare providers struggle with this question, others are getting ahead of the curve by using technology. [Read More]
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Finance Headlines
Senate Gives Doc Fix Six Month Reprieve, But 21% Cuts Go Into Effect
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - June 18, 2010
Doctors limit new Medicare patients
USA Today - June 21, 2010
Metro Atlanta hospitals create partnerships
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - June 18, 2010
TN-based LifePoint nears deal for Sumner Regional Health Systems
The Tennessean - June 15, 2010
HHS Releases Final Rule for Temporary EHR Certification Program
Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media - June 18, 2010
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Taking On the Cost Drivers
HealthLeaders June 2010 While most expense categories are unavoidable, there are ways to reduce costs. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Creating Stroke Systems of Care
If U.S. healthcare is headed toward a model that eliminates fragmentation and emphasizes continuity and cooperation, stroke care may be leading the way and making a difference in patients' lives. [Read More]
Money Talk

A look at one hospital's struggles to improve

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Rating: AA-
Outlook: Positive
Affected Debt: $1.7 billion
Agency: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
Remarks: S&P revised its rating outlook to positive from stable and affirmed its AA- rating on various issuers' debt issued for Mayo Clinic. At the same time, S&P affirmed its various other ratings on numerous bonds issued on behalf of Mayo Clinic. Offsetting credit factors include liquidity levels that are still below similarly rated organizations. S&P also considers Mayo Clinic's asset allocation aggressive, with approximately 50% of Mayo's long-term fund in alternative assets. S&P also cites its potential exposure to future Medicare and Medicare physician reimbursement reductions.
[Read More]
Audio Feature

Preventing Missed Revenue Opportunities: Robert Sutton of IMA Consulting discusses tips for preventing missed revenue opportunities due to third-party payer contractual underpayment. [Listen Now]
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Finance

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June 23: Cardiovascular Service Lines Strategies
July 15: A Better Way Than Pay For Call Coverage
July 22: Marketing to Physicians: Increase Sales Success Through Measurement and Tracking
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