Avondale Partners analyst Kevin Campbell says it's looking more and more like the volume weakness experienced by many hospital chains in the first quarter was more seasonal than structural. April's traffic was better, he says, and shares of locals HCA, CHS, LifePoint and Vanguard should continue to trend higher as investors remain focused on the expected benefits of health reform next year and beyond. Other factors helping: Pricing for the insurance exchanges being set up looks to be solid, and Medicare disproportionate-share payment cuts won't be as bad as expected.
Shares of HCA (Ticker: HCA) are starting the week on a sour note — down 3 percent at 11:30 a.m. — while the stocks of CHS, LifePoint and Vanguard all are up slightly.
TriStar Centennial Medical Center has announced several changes — including a new chairperson and a well-known new vice chair — to its 20-member board of trustees.
They include the following:
Juli G. Horton, M.D., (pictured on the right), infectious disease physician at TriStar Centennial Medical Center, has been named chair.
Arthur B. Laffer, (photo on the left), founder and chairman of Laffer Associates and Laffer Investments, has been named vice chair.
Joe F. Alexander, associate dean at the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University; Michael S. Murphy, founder and president of Dominic & Irvine Research; and David R. Spigel, M.D., medical oncologist at TriStar Centennial, have been appointed as board members for three-year terms through Dec. 31, 2015.
William H. Polk Jr., thoracic surgeon at TriStar Centennial, has been appointed as a member for a one-year term through Dec. 31.
Marilyn Kaye Orange, a registered nurse at TriStar Ashland City Medical Center and the 2011 Frist Humanitarian Employee Award recipient, has been appointed as a non-voting member for a term of one year through Dec. 31.
Michael J. Stabile, vice president of the medical staff; and Jeffrey Guy, M.D., chief medical officer at TriStar Centennial Medical Center, also have been appointed as ex-officio members of the board.
Patricia P. Stokes, president and CEO of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, has been reappointed to a second term through Dec. 31, 2015.
Hospitals that treat Medicaid-eligible poor and uninsured patients are asking the federal government to delay $64 billion in cuts to the program while, ironically, at the same time Medicaid rolls are expanding.
The American Hospital Association wants a two-year delay as reductions of 50 percent, or $14.1 billion, are planned from fiscal 2014 through 2019. This according to draft regulations to be published in the Federal Register, as reported Tuesday by Bloomberg.
The Medicaid expansion will place an even greater financial burden on hospitals especially those heavily reliant generally on government reimbursement.
More than a dozen state governors — all Republicans — have balked at the process, choosing not to participate with the federal government to build their own insurance exchanges. These exchanges are designed to provide affordable health insurance to an estimated 34 to 44 million Americans currently without it.
In a unanimous opinion released Thursday, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that a medical malpractice claim brought by a local couple against Williamson Medical Center must be dismissed because it was filed too late.
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