It would be refreshing if we could read one of Todd Sloane's editorials (July 25, pg. 18) without the usual zealotry and rhetoric steeped in "Bush bashing" that is all too common in today's liberal media, and which has been an obvious political slant in past editorials by him ("The long-term problem," July 25, p. 18).
The phrase "Bush-ness as usual" was ill-conceived and unnecessary, perhaps prompting many of us to either not read the rest of the editorial or to be skeptical about the rest of the piece, looking for the next partisan attack.
Sloane should do himself a favor and leave political slander out of his editorials unless it is germane to the issue being discussed, and especially if it is pure speculation about what actions our president might take.
Regional vice president
Quorum Health Resources
The missing back story ...
Modern Healthcare missed the point of the downfall of Allegheny Health, Education and Research Foundation ("AHERF revisited," June 28, p. 40). No one has researched what went wrong by actually interviewing any of those involved. Sherif Abdelhak's "ego" and a "sleepy board of trustees" are the only targets the media and governance experts have identified thus far. The truth is that many hospital executives have egos similar to Mr. Abdelhak's and most boards would never admit to being as lax as the AHERF board was assumed to have been.
In 12 years as president and CEO of a small West Virginia multihospital system under a management contract with AHERF, I attended AHERF board meetings, reported directly to Abdelhak and have some knowledge of the makeup and workings of the board and management. AHERF's trustees were a mirror of those at most U.S. hospitals: corporate executives, educators, politicians, lawyers, people of all faiths and colors. They were involved, caring and smart.
Maybe instead of making assumptions about egos and sleepy boards, someone should take the initiative to find out what really happened.
Ohio Valley Health Services and Education Corp.
... the next AHERF
I thought your special report on AHERF was wonderful. Revisiting scandals may help prevent them in the future, but there is no guarantee. Look at HealthSouth Corp. -- an aggressive, focused, charismatic CEO can pull the wool over the eyes of regulators and board members.
President Holmes Group
Our real ranking ...
The By the Numbers chart of the Top 10 healthcare provider consultants (June 6, p. 42) incorrectly ranks Computer Sciences Corp. as fifth with $550 million in revenue as determined by total healthcare practice revenue. We in fact realized total healthcare revenue for fiscal 2005 of $1.064 billion on a worldwide basis. This includes all "practice revenue" in the healthcare industry.
Clearly, CSC would rank No. 1 in the listing you published. It is our understanding that this error occurred because you were provided with incorrect data by an outside firm. We are working with them to correct this error and to ensure it doesn't happen again in the future. Thank you for your help in this matter and enabling us to set the record straight.
Vice president and managing partner
Global Health Solutions
Computer Sciences Corp.
Editor's note: The By the Numbers ranking was compiled by Kennedy Information, which responds below.
... based on what?
The revenue reported for Computer Sciences Corp. and others in the table reflected management consulting and IT consulting services only.
According to Kennedy Information's definitions, which are widely published, known to firms throughout the profession and have been developed in the course of 35 years of research on the industry, IT consulting does not include services that require ongoing maintenance, upkeep, and/or management of IT assets. Such services would fall under categories like outsourcing, managed services or customer support.
Moreover, IT consulting doesn't include application development services that are not directly attached to a larger consulting project. CSC maintains a leading position and garners significant portions of its revenue in the non-consulting IT services markets described above. That revenue, by definition, is not reflected in our estimates of their healthcare consulting business.
We stand by the original ranking.
Vice president of research
Moving ahead in Muskegon
I read the article on new technology in the medical transcription field with interest ("Not dead yet," July 11, p. 38). I agree that with increasing patient volumes and higher standards of performance expected by oversight organizations, we need to take advantage of all available solutions.
Our hospital has started using medical transcription staff (working remotely from their homes) and Dictaphone's Powerscribe Workstation speech recognition system in our new 35,000-square-foot emergency department. We have 14 ER physicians, all using voice recognition. We have produced the highest-quality documentation of our patient care.
What do you think?
Write us with your comments. Via e-mail, it's [email protected]; by fax, 312-280-3183.