A survey of 200 hospital executives shows a majority expect to increase spending this year, mainly on information technology and capital equipment. Cost containment measures will continue, though, and the use of GPOs is expected to jump by 20 percent in 2015. For the story from Med City News, with a link to the survey results, click the above link.
Feb 15, 2011 8:46 AM
The folks in northeastern Pennsylvania are looking forward to at least one thing about Mercy Health Partners' planned switch to for-profit from nonprofit when it's acquired by Community Health Systems — the tax revenue. The Times-Tribune reports that the deal for Mercy's some 33 properties — including its three hospitals — could bring $1 million back to the local tax rolls.
Feb 14, 2011 7:54 AM
The nonprofit WellStar Health System out of Atlanta has selected local architecture and engineering firm Hart Freeland Roberts to help it plan an outpatient campus whose first phase will be worth $25 million. HFR has worked in the past with WellStar, which is anchored by five hospitals and employs more than 11,000 people.
Feb 10, 2011 11:06 AM
Universal Health Services CFO Steve Filton told attendees at a health care conference this week that the performance company's acute care segment remains "muted," but said the company's behavioral health segment — which mostly consists of Psychiatric Solutions' acquired operations — is going strong. Pennsylvania-based UHS (Ticker: UBS) acquired Franklin's Psych Solutions in November for $3.1 billion.
Feb 10, 2011 7:04 AM
Iasis Healthcare's new CEO Carl Whitmer talked strategy and potential expansion on a Wednesday conference call with investors. The hospital chain leader said he and company's new COO, Phil Mazucca, have been visiting all of Iasis' facilities, "bringing a fresh set of eyes to our operations that are already helping us to forge new paths to opportunities in our markets." Perhaps the most prominent strategy mentioned on the Q1 earnings call was physician alignment. CFO John Doyle said the company has increased its employed physician base by 25 percent, a move that has come with some additional initial expenses for salaries and support infrastructure. But Whitmer said it is a "key component to position us for success in our markets." Other areas of focus include expanding service lines including outpatient surgery, ER services, and orthopedics. Whitmer also hinted at additional future expansion for the company, which, until its purchase of two Brim Healthcare hospitals in October, had been inactive in the M&A arena. He said there is a "robust pipeline" of opportunities both in its existing markets and in new markets "as we expand our footprint to create the next version of Iasis Healthcare."
Feb 9, 2011 11:14 AM
Vanguard Health Systems is pleased with the leadership of Detroit Medical Center and expects to keep the top brass in place, with most of the eight-hospital system's integration wrapping up soon. The Detroit Free Press reports on the Detroit-specific conversation in the company's Q2 earnings call yesterday.
He said DMC CEO Mike Duggan “has done a terrific job” making the system profitable. The company expects “less change and disruption’’ in Detroit, Pitts said. “We expect to have most of the transition issues” in Detroit done’’ by spring, Pitts said. “We feel very optimistic about the future in Detroit.”
Feb 9, 2011 7:02 AM
HCA’s top executives got a big pay bump in 2010. According to the company’s preliminary proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, CEO Richard M. Bracken’s total 2010 compensation was $38.2 million — more than three times his 2009 compensation of $12.3 million. The 2010 jump was mostly attributable to $25 million in “other compensation,” which included $21.7 million in cash distributions on vested stock options. As for the company’s other officers: CFO R. Milton Johnson’s total 2010 pay was about $22 million, and the company’s other three top officers — Samuel Hazen, Beverly Wallace and Paul Rutledge — made $15 million, $13 million and $11.5 million, respectively. Last week HCA reported 2010 income of $1.2 billion on $30.6 billion in revenue. the company is expected to launch an initial public offering this year.
Feb 7, 2011 12:05 PM
CRT Capital analyst Sheryl Skolnick on Friday updated her predictions for Iasis Healthcare's 2011 financial results. Skolnick now expects the Franklin-based company (which reports Q1 numbers this week) to generate about $2.696 billion in revenue for its 2011 fiscal year, up from her previous estimate of $2.62 billion. The adjustment takes into account a $120 million annual acute care revenue boost from Iasis’ acquisition of two Brim Holdings hospitals, as well as downward pressure on its Arizona Medicaid HMO plan premium revenue. She’s predicting about $73 million in fiscal 2011 net income, down from her previous estimate of $82 million. The company’s 2010 net income totaled $66.5 million.
Feb 7, 2011 10:24 AM
Healthways Inc. this morning touted the results of two studies on the effectiveness of its chronic care management techniques for reducing hospital readmissions. Conducted by Healthways' Center for Health Research, the first study looked at claims data for more than 30,000 members of a commercial health plan that were discharged from a hospital in 2008. Patients who received a follow-up phone call after discharge were 23 percent less likely to be readmitted to the hospital. Patients who do not receive a follow-up call within 14 days of discharge are 1.3 times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged.
“While previous studies have demonstrated a reduction in readmissions based on the capacity of hospitals and clinics to provide supplemental discharge counseling, this study demonstrates that the same effect can be achieved through efficiently scaled and delivered telephonic interventions,” said James E. Pope, M.D., Chief Science Officer, Healthways. “These findings clearly indicate that timely discharge follow-up by telephone to supplement standard care is effective at reducing near-term hospital readmissions, thus providing a means of reducing costs for health plans and their members.”Reducing readmissions is of increased importance to health care providers under new health care reform regulations. It's also a possible new focus for Healthways, which hinted on its most recent earnings call that it was piloting programs with a "large, integrated health system."
Feb 7, 2011 8:00 AM
A Texas hospital mostly shuttered by HCA Inc. in May will be reopened this Spring thanks to its acquisition by a Houston investment firm. McVey & Co. Investments purchased Spring Branch Medical Center for an undisclosed sum and plans to operate the facility as an acute-care hospital, starting with 50 beds and growing to 200 by next year.
“We are looking forward to providing continued support for Spring Branch by serving the community’s health care needs,” said Marty McVey, president of McVey & Co.HCA cited financial losses from low volumes when it closed the hospital's acute care operations. It has continued to operate outpatient services.
Feb 4, 2011 7:20 AM