HCA, Nashville, said it has alerted government authorities including a U.S. attorney that medically may have been performed in the cardiac catheterization lab of its 515-bed Cedars Medical Center, Miami. In a statement released by HCA, Cedars said its board and medical executive committee have suspended interventional cardiac privileges of eight physicians as a result of a report written by the American Medical Foundation for Peer Review and Education. The hospital said it is reviewing claims it submitted from the lab and will refund any inappropriate reimbursements. Cedars said it is implementing the suggestions for improvement made in the report.
Province takes a hit
Province Healthcare Co. warned that its fourth-quarter results will be hit hard by the loss of an "unusually large number of physicians" during 2002. Brentwood, Tenn.-based Province said the loss of an undisclosed number of doctors cost the company $8.2 million in revenue and 1,189 admissions during the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2002. The 20-hospital chain said same-hospital admissions were down 4.9% and same-hospital adjusted admissions were down 1.5% for the quarter compared with the year-ago period. Surgeries were hit harder, down 8.6%. Province said surgery volume was affected by the openings of competing ambulatory surgery centers in two markets.
Budget will cost hospitals
New York Gov. George Pataki's proposed budget would cost the state's hospitals nearly 2% of their total operating revenue, or roughly $545 million annually-$228 million for a new tax on hospital revenue and $317 million from reduced Medicaid inpatient reimbursement, the Greater New York Hospital Association said. The Medicaid reductions amount to between 2% and 29% of individual hospitals' Medicaid revenue, with the average reduction equaling 8%. Teaching hospitals would take the biggest hit, according to the GNYHA. The healthcare workers union, Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, said it would mobilize its 237,000 members to support tax increases, as the proposed budget would trim healthcare funding by nearly $2 billion.
Glenwood restates earnings
Glenwood Regional Medical Center, West Monroe, La., restated its 2001 earnings to reflect a loss, a factor that contributed to its downgrade to BBB from A by Standard & Poor's. The ratings agency issued a stable outlook and said the downgrade also reflected increased competition, reduced liquidity and fiscal 2002 operating losses. The hospital attributed the restatement to an accounts receivable write-off, which changes the 222-bed hospital's 2001 result to an operating loss of $3.7 million from an operating income of $782,000. The hospital had an operating loss of $10.3 million in 2002.