Friday Feature: Back to the Future and Care Rounds

TGIF! A frequent reader sent me a note earlier in the week and asked if I would drop in more clinically oriented stuff from time to time. I asked for details, and she said stuff “that is germane to patient care and operational improvements – QA/QI stuff”. So, today’s post is by request, sort of. … Read more

Reducing MDRO Prevalence in Healthcare Facilities: The Impact of Chlorhexidine Bathing and Nasal Decolonization on Hospitalizations

I’m sure the first reaction to this title is, it’s an April Fool’s joke. This is not that. I know, I don’t really write on any deep clinical topics, for various reasons. First, I’m not qualified clinically (I read to stay B.S. proof and to help my wife’s work – clinical compliance). Second, my only … Read more

Unlocking the Potential: Overcoming Challenges for LTPAC Providers in ACO Participation

Yesterday, the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living plus the National Assocation of ACOs released a white paper that includes a set of recommendations for CMS, designed to increase the participation of long term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers in accountable care organizations (ACOs).  The white paper is available here: AHCA … Read more

The Financial Struggle of Rural Hospitals: A Growing Concern for Healthcare Access

Among the many healthcare sectors I follow, rural healthcare has become my favorite. Oddly enough, it’s not because of the policy issues that exist, though it should be. It is because it is an overlooked sector and one that has a real risk of collapse. Last summer (2023) I wrote a post about the plight … Read more

Why Managers Need to Shift Focus from Putting Out Fires to Empowering Their Teams

In my reading stack this weekend (ok, virtual stack), I came across a number of articles on leadership and management. Some were good, some were not, and lots were focused on “old” issues and problems. One in particular, caught my attention – “Management as We Know it Is Broken: How can Leaders Fix It?” What … Read more

Unveiling the Allegations: Lawsuit Claims Advocate Aurora Health’s Monopoly on Health System is Hiking Prices in Wisconsin

Late last week, I ran across a number of news posts regarding a proposed class action lawsuit against the hospital/health system giant Advocate Aurora, alleging that the organization used its market mass to limit competition and in return, impose excessively high prices on commercial health plans and their insureds. The suit was filed in Wisconsin (where … Read more

Conference Board Report/C-Suite Outook for 2024: Concerns Ahead

The Conference Board, a renowned non-profit research organization, has recently released a comprehensive report that sheds light on the business outlook and concerns of CEOs for the year 2024. This study offers valuable insights into the minds of top executives, highlighting their attention towards the economy and organizational talent. In this post, I’ll delve into … Read more

Wednesday Feature: Framework for Improved Staffing Levels

Happy Hump Day! Wow, winter has really settled in for most of the U.S. – cold and snow as far south as Arkansas and cold, almost everywhere. Next week looks a bit more promising, weather-wise. Staffing for all providers is a major issue. For rural facilities, it can be the difference between staying afloat or closing. I … Read more

Rural Hospital Program: Extra Cash for Emergency and Outpatient Services Stuck in Neutral

In 2021, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Within the Act, a new Medicare provider was created – the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH). The final rule is available here: Rural Emergency Hospital Final Rule REHs were created to improve and increase, access to emergency services and ideally, expanded outpatient services in rural areas. Starting … Read more

Fitch 2024 Oulook: Life Plan (CCRC) Communities, Non-Profit Hospitals – Deteriorating

The Fitch Ratings Public Finance outlook dropped earlier this week and not surprising, their outlook for Life Plan Communities and Non-Profit Hospitals/Health Systems remains negative or in their terms, “deteriorating”. Their forecast is for deteriorating credit conditions in these two sectors due primarily to labor and cost pressures (insufficient supply of labor at higher comp levels … Read more