HealthLeaders Media Finance - August 09, 2010 | Healthcare Stuck in Economic Limbo View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Healthcare Stuck in Economic Limbo
Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media

Last  week, the Commonfund Institute released a report on the status of investments by nonprofit healthcare organizations, and the findings mirror in a way what’s going on in the overall healthcare economy. [Read More]
  August 09, 2010

Editor's Picks
Health Law Extends Medicare Solvency to 2029, Trustees Say
Medicare's financial stability was "substantially improved" by the passage this spring of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will extend the solvency of the program for another 12 years to 2029, according to the 2010 Medicare Trustees Report. Despite the extended solvency, the trustees warned that Medicare is still not adequately financed over the next 10 years. Medicare expenditures have exceeded income since 2008 and will continue to do so through 2013, but savings from reform will generate surpluses 2014-2022, the report said. [Read More]
CMS IPPS Policy Detailed
On July 30, CMS issued the inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) final rule to update policies and rates for fiscal year (FY) 2011. CMS updated acute care hospital rates by 2.35%. This update reflects a market basket increase of 2.6% for inflation, which is a slight increase over the FY 2010 inflation rate. The final rule reduces the 2.6% inflation update by 0.25%, as required by PPACA. Despite strong opposition from the hospital community, CMS also finalized its proposed documentation and coding adjustment (DCA) of -2.9% to offset overpayments that resulted from documentation and coding practices under the new Medicare severity DRG (MS-DRG) system [Read More]
Physician Compensation Up for 3 in 4 Specialties
In 2009, 76% of all specialties saw an increase in compensation, with the overall weighted average increase of approximately 3.4%. The primary care specialties' (excluding hospitalists) average compensation increase was about 3.8%, according to the American Medical Group Association's (AMGA) 2010 Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey. Other medical specialties had on average a 2.4% increase, and surgical specialties had a 3.8% average increase. [Read More]
AMA: Liability Claims Filed Nearly One Per Physician
A report from the American Medical Association finds an average of 95 medical liability claims filed for every 100 physicians. The report prompted renewed calls from the AMA for comprehensive national and state-level tort reforms. There is wide variation in the impact of liability claims between specialties. The number of claims per 100 physicians was more than five times greater for general surgeons and OB/GYNS than it was for pediatricians and psychiatrists. [Read More]
Finance Forum
New Medicare Fraud and Abuse Provisions Under the PPACA
President Obama recently signed off on legislation that very likely will result in a substantial increase in lawsuits against health care providers. Intended to combat fraud in the Medicare & Medicaid programs, several amendments in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act significantly change the status quo, and will require greater vigilance by healthcare providers in their dealings with the federal government.

[Read More]
Sponsored Headlines
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Finance Headlines
CMS EMR Incentive Funding Reaches $73 Million
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 06, 2010
D.C. Nurses Approve One-Day Work Stoppage
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 03, 2010
Healthcare Online Job Postings Slip
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 06, 2010
Health Insurance Exchange Blasted Over Primary Care Access in Massachusetts
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 05, 2010
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Nursing's Growing Role
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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

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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