Investors wrestling with just how much to pay for many health care stocks ahead of the presidential election will have another factor to consider come Friday morning. Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut says hospital chains and other providers could suffer if Paul Ryan puts up a good performance against Joe Biden. Since Mitt Romney's strong debate last week, HCA shares (Ticker: HCA) are off almost 10 percent.
Mitt Romney's widely lauded performance in Wednesday night's presidential debate is generating some skittishness among investors in health care stocks, given his opposition to President Obama's health reform package. That has shares of local hospital companies HCA Holdings and Community Health Systems trying to recover from early trading that had them down more than 5 percent. Shares of LifePoint Hospitals also are down more than 2 percent but Vanguard Health Systems (Ticker: VHS) is escaping the drama so far.
SEE ALSO: MarketWatch's story on today's trading
With the clock ticking down before a number of big reimbursement changes kick in Oct. 1, the Tennessee Hospital Association is engaging in equal parts advocacy, alarm bell ringing and CYA. The industry group on Monday said the payout cuts — some from the Affordable Care Act, others from broader budget measures adopted last year — will endanger some facilities' and cost each Tennessee county an average of 250 jobs in the coming year.
“We’ve said all along that cost containment is essential to the long-term best interest of our country, but the speed and manner in which these drastic changes are imposed will make the difference between life and death for some hospitals,” Becker said.
SEE ALSO: Becker tells Blake Farmer something 'pretty scary' could happen
The Kaiser Family Foundation has compiled masses of information on the money flowing to state and local government coffers — as well as employers and nonprofits — under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act. Check out details of Tennessee's take here. On a per-capita basis, we rank in the bottom dozen.
The opinion pages of Sunday's New York Times sang the praises of a small Alaskan health care system that has combined a common-sense approach with technology and proactivity to produce remarkable results. Among its success factors is the aggressive use of data for both the medical and financial sides of the business.
Southcentral’s “data mall” coughs up easily understood graphics showing how well doctors and the teams they lead are doing to improve health outcomes and cut costs compared with their colleagues, their past performance and national benchmarks, and it provides them with action lists of what they can do to improve and mentors to guide them. That almost always spurs the laggards. One doctor whose team ranked well behind 10 others in scheduling annual eye exams for diabetics jumped to first place within two months once she became aware of how poorly her team was performing.
A team of Bass Berry & Sims attorneys teamed up this week with Bipartisan Policy Center health specialist Julie Barnes to run through the implications of last week's Supreme Court upholding President Obama's health reform package. Check it out here, where the panel discusses among other things:
• The chances some states will not set up their own health insurance exchanges
• Why a good number of uninsured people still might not buy coverage come 2014
• What employers should be doing now to prepare for the numerous compliance changes
• The opportunities for commercial insurers in the dual-eligible population
And if you want to dig even deeper into the employer-sponsored arena — and are willing to drive to Birmingham for the info — Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz is hosting a July 19 session.