Georgia Hospitals Present Varying Financial Pictures
One hospital run by Children's Healthcare Of Atlanta had its best financial results of the decade in 2010, but many of the state's independent hospitals are facing hard times. Medical staff issues and attempted aquisitions are also in the news.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Strong Finances At Children's Healthcare Support System's Vast Programs
With many Georgia hospitals struggling to turn a profit, the Scottish Rite and Egleston hospitals run by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta had their best financial results of the decade in 2010 and wound up among the strongest performers in Georgia, according to a review of financial reports by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The system's highly regarded pediatric hospitals reported combined profits of more than $150 million last year, the AJC found. Ron Frieson, senior vice president for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, acknowledged that "our numbers do look strong," but he said the two hospitals are run efficiently and are often the only source in Georgia for specialized care for sick children (Teegardin, 10/10).
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia's Independent Hospitals Hurting
Independent hospitals — the local stalwarts that birth babies, handle heart attacks and support Little League teams, too — are facing hard times. The new health care law will demand more of every hospital, including expensive records systems and more attention to quality care, and meanwhile both the government and private insurers want hospitals to be more efficient. Those demands will make it difficult for many independent hospitals to remain independent....But quite the opposite holds true for hospitals that are part of a larger network, whether a for-profit chain or a local nonprofit system (Teegardin and Williams, 10/9).
Des Moines Register: Hospital Staff Says Failings Not Examined
The medical staff at Oelwein's Mercy Hospital says state inspectors are not responding to their complaints regarding physician oversight, potential Medicare fraud and building conditions. The medical staff at the 25-bed hospital complained to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals seven months ago about a physician-review process they say was rigged to conceal evidence of physician incompetence. They also complained about potential Medicare fraud through unnecessary medical procedures performed in the hospital’s pain clinic (Kauffman, 10/9).
Denver Post: Colorado AG Asked To Intervene In Alleged Attempt to Seize Control of Hospitals
Denver's third-largest hospital system and a foundation are employing "outrageous" sleight of hand to transfer hospital control in violation of an arbitrator's ruling, according to challenges filed with the state attorney general. Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, which controls Exempla St. Joseph Hospital, is trying to buy control of Exempla Lutheran Medical Center and Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center even though a court-ordered arbitrator nixed a similar deal in 2009, opponents of the deal say. Community First Foundation would reap $280 million in the power transfer, which the foundation and Sisters of Charity have pledged to complete in less than three years. The appeals for the attorney general to intervene reflect years of bitterness over the fate of the three hospitals, and the sisters' move in recent years to end reproductive care and other services that violate Catholic principles (Booth, 10/9).