Outliers takes a holiday from its normal fare this week to bring you a quiz measuring how closely you've been following developments in the healthcare industry.
For every answer you know, give yourself 10 points. If you score higher than 100, you are either a: a major player on the healthcare scene, b: an inveterate reader of MODERN HEALTHCARE, or c: someone with an awful lot of spare time.
Q: What hospital chief executive officer lost his job shortly after inviting Richard Scott, Columbia/HCA CEO, over for dinner?
A: David Bussone, former CEO of Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital.
Q: Which member of Congress is least likely to be named the next head of the Small Business Administration?
A: Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-Calif.), who during the reform fight opposed subsidizing small businesses, which he likened to "feeding dog biscuits to a pit bull."
Q: What do incoming House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and the Clinton administration's "Health Care Reform Express" bus caravan have in common?
A: Both crossed the country this year stumping for issues. But that's where the similarity ended. Mr. Gingrich was successful in his effort.
Q: What company made a $950 million uninvited takeover bid for Medical Care America in 1993, only to watch the Dallas-based company sell off its assets the following year to Caremark International and Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.?
A: Surgical Care Affiliates, Nashville, Tenn.
Q: What do the Hopi Indian Tribe, Philip Morris Co., Caremark, Cementos Mexicanos, the National Football League and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations have in common?
A: They're all represented on Capitol Hill by the giant lobbying firm of Gold & Liebengood. The JCAHO disclosed in congressional and tax filings during 1994 that it paid out at least $170,000 to the firm.
Q: A board takeover at a rural Midwestern hospital was nearly achieved because of an arcane bylaw in the hospital's governance rules. Anyone who paid $5 to the board's governing association was eligible to vote for a slate of directors. What is the name of the hospital, which bears the name of the town where it's located. (A hint: If it ever affiliated with the Mayo Clinic, it would make for one heckuva headline.)
A: Sandwich (Ill.) Community Hospital, about 50 miles west of Chicago.
Q: What hospital fired its top three administrators for alleged misfeasance and malfeasance, had a board member indicted for insurance fraud, saw its merger challenged in federal court by the Federal Trade Commission, won a union vote and had its bonds downgraded twice?
A: Cape Coral (Fla.) Hospital
Q: What's on your investment banker's holiday menu?
A: Champagne and caviar. That's what's always on bankers' menus. But the dearth of healthcare bond deals in 1994 means those underwriting fees will pay for fewer bottles of Dom Perignon and tins of beluga this season.
Q: Federal Trade Commission investigators better hope they don't need to have their appendixes removed in which one of the following three towns: Secaucus, N.J.; Pueblo, Colo.; and Santa Cruz, Calif.
A: Pueblo. The town's two hospitals were stopped this year from merging by the FTC, and they weren't too happy about it. The agency cleared hospital mergers or acquisitions in the other two cities.
Q: When is a hospital staff nurse not a nurse but a supervisor who's ineligible for union representation?
A: When the nurse oversees lesser-skilled employees. In a controversial labor case this year, the high court broadened the definition of supervisor and gave hospital employers new ammunition to thwart nurse organizing efforts.
Q. Which state's hospital association filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June, following a $1 million judgment against it in an age discrimination suit?
A. North Dakota.
Q. Cleveland-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio reportedly was under investigation by both the U.S. Justice Department, for possible anti-competitive actions, and by the U.S. Department of Labor, for possible Employment Retirement Income Security Act violations. What practices were under scrutiny?
A. Requiring hospitals where Blue Cross is the biggest commercial insurer to guarantee Blue Cross their lowest rates, and basing patient copayments on a percentage of full hospital charges, rather than discounted charges negotiated by Blue Cross.
Q: Bodyguards for which governor will routinely detonate any pinata that arrives in the Christmas mail?
A: California Gov. Pete Wilson, who made national headlines-and won a second four-year term-by championing a controversial ballot initiative, Proposition 187, intended to cut off public education and all but emergency healthcare for illegal immigrants.