SSM captures Baldrige award
SSM Health Care, St. Louis, became the first healthcare provider to win the nation's highest honor for quality achievement, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, administered by the U.S. Commerce Department. The 21-hospital Roman Catholic system is among 42 organizations that have applied under the healthcare category since it was added to the program in 1999. Created by Congress in 1987 to honor former Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige, the prize is awarded annually to up to three organizations in each of the categories of manufacturing, service, small business, and starting in 1999, education and healthcare. Not every category has a winner in all years. SSM has been using the Baldrige model for evaluating its performance for more than seven years, and the model has been "instrumental in helping us achieve our mission," system President and Chief Executive Officer Sister Mary Jean Ryan said. Previous award winners have included Boeing Co., Federal Express Corp. and Xerox Business Services.
Nasdaq to delist Neoforma
Neoforma, San Jose, Calif., was told for the second time in two quarters that it will be delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange for not filing its quarterly financial statement on time. The e-commerce company intends to appeal. The company is restating its financial results for 2000, 2001 and the first half of 2002 because of accounting adjustments raised by its new audit firm. It expects to complete the restatements and its third-quarter report within three weeks. Company officials have said the adjustments would not affect revenue or cash flow for any period. Neoforma's second-quarter financial statement was similarly delayed by accounting questions, which were subsequently resolved after consultation with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CMS readies doc payment rule
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it would publish Medicare's 2003 physician payment rule on or around Dec. 1, with the new rates to take effect in February. The CMS said it postponed the rule's release, which had been scheduled Nov. 1 to meet a Jan. 1 implementation date, to "correct errors in some of the specific formulas." The delay has given physicians one more month to avert the implementation of an anticipated 4.4% payment cut in 2003.