The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog on Friday highlighted an interesting statistic from a recent Health Affairs study: In 2009, just 2 percent of hospitals would have qualified for the government's definition of "meaningful use" of electronic health records — the set of standards finalized this year that many health care providers are rushing to meet by 2011 in order to qualify for the government's first round of reimbursement for health information technology systems. What percentage of hospitals will hit the mark next year? Think 20 percent:
It’s actually not surprising that hospitals were slow to adopt new systems in 2009, given the horrible economic conditions, difficulty of raising money for capital investments and uncertainty over what the final government requirements would be. “I’d be shocked if we didn’t see an uptick in 2010 and an even bigger one in 2011,” Jha tells the Health Blog. “But are we going from 2% to 40%? No. We might go from 2% to 5% [in 2010] to 15% or 20% in 2011.”
Aug 30, 2010 11:09 AM
Thinking a step ahead, The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog yesterday pondered the incorporation of "meaningful use" standards in future rankings of hospitals and health care providers. Top Doctors is planning to start using the measure in its 2011 rankings.
U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospitals rankings are out today, and we asked Avery Comarow, the magazine’s health rankings editor, whether the rankings will ever incorporate meaningful use benchmarks or other indicators of IT adoption. In an email, he says that “it’s safe to say that meaningful use of HIT will be folded into the Best Hospitals methodology at some point — provided that a link between such a measure and clinical quality can be established.”As tends to happen with these rankings, top health care IT users are likely to use high marks as patient-attracting marketing tools.
Jul 16, 2010 7:47 AM
HCA's big private equity backer, KKR & Co. L.P., will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange July 15 under the symbol KKR. The Wall Street Journal has some context:
In a separate regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, the company said its top two executives took home $22.4 million in cash apiece last year. Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts, founders of the private-equity company, generated total compensation of $70.5 million each in 2009, the majority of which was in non-cash stock awards, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The $70.5 million figure doesn't include the cash they earned. Each owns a 13% stake in the company, according to the filing.Bloomberg's got more at this link.
Jul 7, 2010 7:49 AM
Nashville-based Art Laffer, one of the founders of the supply-side school of economic thought, this morning landed on the opinion page of the Wall Street Journal. Not long after, money manager Barry Ritholtz landed some serious blows on Laffer's thoughts.
Reagan had the good fortune to take office at the tail end of a 16 year secular bear market, just as Paul Volcker fed the economy its distasteful medicine. Inflation was broken, and interest rates began their 25 year slide towards zero. To ignore the reality of these factors, and credit tax cuts as the sole cause of the 1980s and 90s expansion is simply to discard reality because it does not fit your neat ideological universe. That is a surefire recipe for losing money as an investor . . .
Jun 8, 2010 11:51 AM
Conor Dougherty at the Journal has an interesting take on the recent Census Bureau data about last year's slight rise in migration. Most of the gains came from intracounty moves, which say nothing positive about the state of the job market.
May 10, 2010 2:10 PM
The Journal's James Hagerty has updated his housing market reports for 28 of the country's largest cities — that would be the one where Nashville was 'tops' three months ago when it came to the number of homes on the market. Things look better this time around: Our inventory has fallen 10 percent from a year ago — we're now behind Charlotte and Jacksonville — but prices have only given way 5 percent.
Apr 23, 2010 10:10 AM
The much-anticipated March employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the economy added 123,000 private-sector jobs last month, the most in almost three years. That was lower than analysts had expected, but there are some positive nuggets inside the headline number.
The average work week increased to 34 hours from 33.9, a positive sign. Most employers are likely to work current employees longer before they hire new workers. The department also revised January's job total to show a gain of 14,000, up from a previously reported loss of 26,000. February's job numbers were also revised higher by 22,000 to show a loss of 14,000. The economy has now added jobs in three separate months since the recession began.SEE ALSO: Reactions via NPR and the Journal as well as this chart from Calculated Risk showing just how freakin' far we still have to go.
Apr 2, 2010 11:44 AM
Economists and market types react to the Federal Reserve's move — a surprise to some — yesterday to lift the discount rate at which banks can borrow from it. From the Journal comes a short roundup that's rather there-is-nothing-to-see-here sanguine. Bloomberg talks to Japanese economist who says the dollar's gains will peter out and Mike Shedlock says we shouldn't shrug off the Fed's move but still expect some follow-through.
Say what you want, but this appears to be a change in policy from doing nothing to tightening. At the very minimum this is likely to change perceptions about the resolve of the Fed's willingness to take its exit strategy seriously.
Feb 19, 2010 7:21 AM
Two stories from The Wall Street Journal — one about the natural slowdown this time of year and another about pushback from British money mangers — detail the precarious state of today's IPO market.
"Only companies that are insulated from the economy or those with established brands, strong fundamentals and balance sheets will succeed," in wooing investors, says Michael A. Bauer, a managing director at Jefferies Group.
Feb 17, 2010 1:21 PM