Category Archives: Healthcare

Study Finds Most Successful Hospitals are Nonprofits

An article recently published in “Health Affairs” has identified that seven of the ten most profitable acute care hospitals in the United States are not-for-profit organizations. The data examined was retrieved from Medicare Cost Reports and Final Rule Data, and analysis considered the 2013 net income from patient care services per adjusted discharge.

According to the study, ” Forty-five percent of hospitals were profitable, with 2.5 percent earning more than $2,475 per adjusted discharge. The ten most profitable hospitals, seven of which were nonprofit, each earned more than $163 million in total profits from patient care services.” (Bai G. Anderson G.) Caring for patients was a net loss for 55% of hospitals in 2013. Roughly one-third of hospitals which earned a profit made between $1 and $1,000 per patient discharged. Only 12% of hospitals fared better, at $1,000+ per patient discharged.

Study co-author Ge Bai believes that it is important to understand which hospitals are profitable and to what extent they are affected by various public policies. Bai believes that it is up to the general public to monitor hospital consolidation, and to consider its impact on operating expenses and insurance negotiating power.

Mayor Laurel Prussing of Urbana, IL. discussed the phenomenon in an article published in the Associated Press. Urbana lost 11% of its assessed tax value, $6.5 million annualy, when the Carle Foundation Hospital in her city was no longer responsible for property taxes. “We need to question this whole idea of what not-for-profit means,” Prussing said. “This is a highly profitable business that manages to not pay taxes.”

Others aren’t so sure that losing money should be a prerequisite to earning nonprofit status. Danny Chun of the Illinois Hospital Association makes the case that increased spending power tends to directly benefit future patients and the community at large. He claims that income earned each year is reinvested in ” the latest technology, newer equipment, modern facilities, highly-trained staff and other programs that ensure access to quality health care services and benefit the health of their community.”

One thing is for sure: when hospital care makes up almost one-third of national health care spending, nearing $1 trillion, the debate about the relationship between nonprofit hospitals and profit margins will continue to be a hot topic.


Ge Bai, Gerard F. Anderson Health Aff May 2016 vol. 35 no. 5 889-897 doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1193

Johnson, Carla “Study: 7 of 10 most profitable US hospitals are nonprofitsAssociated Press, May 2nd, 2016./sup>

CDC’s 2013 ‘state of the nation’ recap is a great read!

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has a great summary titled “Our Nation’s Health by the Numbers: 2013.” It’s an excellent, simple high level format for 26 topics with the details one click away. Topics include: 5 gains in 2013 & 5 goals for 2014; 8 germs that cause 80% of life threatening bloodstream infections; heart attacks and strokes; tobacco use; sodium; polio; opioids; and more.

Our Nation’s Health by the Numbers: 2013


HUGE congratulations to the Department of Veterans Affairs

In 2013 the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (DVA) progress over the backlog of Veterans’ disability compensation and pension claims is truly remarkable. The DVA:

  • Completed processing of 99.9% of all claims pending over 2 years;
  • Completed processing of 97% of all claims pending over 1 year;
  • Decreased the number of claims pending over 125 days by 36%;
  • Increased claim accuracy to 90% & medical issue accuracy to ~97%;

But that’s not all. Their web-based electronic claims processing system has been deployed to all 56 DVA regional benefits offices six months ahead of schedule, as well as to the Appeals Management Center, the Records Management Center, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, VA’s National Call Center, and all VA Medical Centers!

Suddenly the goal of eliminating the backlog in 2015 looks realistic.

As a technology entrepreneur that started working with computers in 1971 I never believed that much progress could be made so quickly. Especially with a U.S. Government healthcare application. Too bad our country won’t hail the team that fixed such an embarrassingly horrendous mess, with the same zeal that we vilified those who created it?

VA Progress on Claims Backlog Highlighted during Congressional Testimony

Lottery Participants Are Protected By The ADA

Recently read this quote from Timothy Fong, the co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program: “The lottery is a tax on the mathematically disabled.”

According to website:
“An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.”

So, if Mr. Fong qualifies an expert witness, then anybody who buys a lottery ticket should be protected by the ADA! Anyone have the number for the ACLU’s enforcement division?

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reblogging – Social media crisis management in healthcare

Came across a very well written blog everyone should be reading – a perfect look at social media and healthcare, and what hospitals/clincs/doctors need to be doing for their relationship with patients.

The customer/patient has become media: Customers and patients were always satisfied or dissatisfied, and usually shared their experiences with friends and family. Nothing new there. What has changed now is that their friends are now on Facebook, and what they write can easily be published and reach thousands of people and spread like wildfire in a matter of minutes. Data published on shows that 34 per cent of bloggers voice their opinion on brands, and that 25 per cent of search results for the world’s top 20 brands are for user generated content.

Read more: Social media crisis management in healthcare