HealthLeaders Media Finance - October 11, 2010 | Hospital Survival May Depend on Mergers View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Hospital Survival May Depend on Mergers
Karen Minich-Pourshadi, Senior Editor

In this economy, hospitals and health systems are coupling up to deal with uncertainty. Mergers can aid lower-rated hospitals and health systems that would otherwise have limited to access to associated physicians, technological advancements, and investment capital. Though I'm normally for independence, one thing is clear to me—for hospitals, there’s safety in numbers. [Read More]
  October 11, 2010

Editor's Picks
White House Gets FTC to Heel
Senior Editor Philip Betbeze takes a look healthcare reform and its antitrust implications. Though President Obama's key legislative achievement and dubbed a new era in healthcare, there are still a few Federal Trade Commission regulations that could trip things up, including the encouragement of healthcare providers to band together to improve the quality and continuity of care. Click here to learn more. [Read More]
A Modest Proposal: Pay More for Care Only if It's Better
It doesn't make sense to Peter B. Bach, MD, why Medicare pays more for some new types of care when there's no evidence showing they're actually better than the old way. There are many examples of how the system is wrong, including a steady introduction of new technologies, and drugs, and devices that are never really evaluated against the old ones—though they cost us a lot more money. Are they really worth it? Senior editor Cheryl Clark takes a look at this issue. [Read More]
ACO, MLR Specters Haunt Providers, Employers
October has only just begun, but fears about healthcare reform are multiplying like swooning teens at a vampire flick. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is freighted with anxiety-inducing provisions that are eliciting angst in all quarters. No one, it seems, is spared: not providers, not health plan executives, not employers, and not the public. Last week at a public meeting in Baltimore officials from CMS and the FTC tried to quell the concerns of health insurance executives and healthcare providers over accountable care organizations. But, providers aren't alone in their apprehension; health plan executives fear that ACOs will only push costs higher and since no single, agreed upon ACO payment structure yet exists, they may be right. Senior Editor Cora Nucci takes a look at what this means for health plans. [Read More]
Intelligence Report: Physician Alignment in an Era of Change
Hospitals are looking to employ more physicians and buy more medical groups; at the same time, hospitals are receiving an increase in inquiries from physician groups for employment. But this marriage is not without trepidation. Elements of payment reform are expected to put considerable strain on hospital-physician relations. In this exclusive, original research and analysis, we find out what 258 healthcare executives and clinical leaders think about these topics and more. [Read More]
Breakthroughs Report: Hospital Merger and Acquisition Strategies
The rules of healthcare are changing. Today, growth isn't about just getting bigger. It's about developing all of the components needed for coordinated care and reduced costs. In this HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs report, leading hospital systems that have seen the value of growth from mergers and acquisitions—North Shore LIJ Health System, Novant Health, Baylor Health Care System, and Bayhealth Medical Center—share insights and lessons learned. [Read More]
Register Today for Lead Transformation: Accelerate Value, Quality, and Coordination
Join us October 21, live or virtually, for this complimentary, exclusive half-day leadership event that will bring leaders from top healthcare organizations to explore real paths to take today toward accountable care structures and define what medical home and patient-centered care mean for your healthcare organization. Recognized leaders and peer experts will be featured from: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, Columbus Regional Hospital, Baptist Health System, Chenango Memorial Hospital, Network Health, Crystal Run Healthcare, Moffitt Cancer Center, Novant Health, and GE Healthcare, Americas. This event takes place October 21, 8:30 am—12:30 pm (CST) at The Fairmont in Dallas, Texas. To register call 800/753-0131 or click here.
Finance Forum
HIPAA Compliance Requires Coding, Processes Update
As the deadline for HIPAA 5010 compliance approaches—requiring migration from ICD-9 to ICD-10—the big question on everyone's tongue is: what's the greatest path to compliance and efficiency? For payer organizations, this will result in increased enrollments, claims processing, customer service requirements, and operational challenges.

[Read More]
Sponsored Headlines
Video: Green Data Centers to Smart Buildings with Enterprise Asset Management: Clay Nesler, of Johnson Controls, discusses how IBM asset management solutions enabled them to bring smart building solutions to the commercial and institutional marketplace. IBM Maximo, the complete end-to-end solution, addresses the instrumentation of buildings and the interconnection of that information and technical systems. Johnson Controls have been able to integrate data from all systems—reducing energy use, improving productivity and reducing costs.
Webcast: Smarter Buildings: Linking energy efficiency with facilities management and maintenance by gaining insight into facilities, their conditions and work processes, CIOs, building owners, operators and tenants are better able to plan and control their environments, thus improving overall operational effectiveness and energy efficiency.
Flash Demo: Manage Facilities with IBM Maximo Asset Management: This high-level Flash video provides an overview of how the IBM Smarter Planet campaign can help improve facilities management. By using IBM Maximo Asset Management, facilities managers are enabled to create smart buildings that reduce overall energy use and are operationally efficient.
Webcast: A Conversation with The Johns Hopkins Hospital: A conversation with Tom Lentz, Manager of IT and Finance for the Facilities Department at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and Axendia Industry Analyst Daniel Matlis on how The Johns Hopkins Hospital uses its Integrated Asset and Service Management solution to improve uptime to support patient care; control costs; support regulatory compliance activities; and use workflow capabilities for internal controls.

Axendia White Paper: Lowering the Cost of Healthcare from the Inside Out: This white paper, written by Axendia, discusses how integrated asset and service management enables healthcare providers to enhance patient care, improve clinical outcomes, reduce costs and ensure compliance.

Real-time asset location visibility improves operational efficiencies: This solution brief discusses how the addition of real-time asset location capabilities to IBM Maximo® Asset Management provides complete visibility of an organization's total enterprise assets in real time. This unprecedented visibility enables an organization to improve asset utilization and employee productivity by providing the current location of existing resources.
Finance Headlines
Bogus healthcare claims infect New Hampshire races
Nashua Telegraph, October 10, 2010
HHS to Grant $727M to Community Health Centers
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 11, 2010
CMS Unveils Billing, Coding Guidance
James Carroll, for HealthLeaders Media, October 11, 2010
Christus Settles Medicare Fraud Charges for Nearly $1M
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 8, 2010
Comparative Effectiveness Could Save Medicare Billions, Study Says
Roxanna Guilford-Blake for HealthLeaders Media, October 7, 2010
3 units of Aetna pay $850,000 fine to NY, October 6, 2010
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Strategies for Hospital C-suite Organization
We all know who holds the ultimate power in the C-suite, but what's the ideal balance of power among its other leaders? How do you get your top lieutenants working together as a team rather than as little tyrants lording over their healthcare fiefdoms? [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

The Fate of Healthcare Benefit Coverage Subsidies for Nonprofits:Bruce McPherson, CEO of the Alliance for Advancing Nonprofit Healthcare discusses tax exemptions for nonprofit hospitals and health facilities in light of healthcare reform legislation. [Listen Now]
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