Errors still evident
Patient-safety errors continue to climb, according to a report scheduled to be released this week by the commercial healthcare data tracking service, HealthGrades. About 1.24 million Medicare patients from 2002 to 2004 received treatment that involved a patient-safety error, up from the 1.18 million in the previous period studied by HealthGrades, 2001-2003. "I think the conclusion, not just by me, but by most experts, is not much has changed," said Samantha Collier, vice president of medical affairs at HealthGrades.
Hospitals missing out on gifts
Fundraising by not-for-profit hospitals remains an untapped resource, even though a strong fundraising program is an important consideration in credit assessments and can positively affect bond ratings, said Moody's Investors Service in a special comment set to be released this week. The average hospital in Moody's portfolio of 544 healthcare organizations derives less than 1% of its total operating revenue from gifts, while the average private college or university in Moody's portfolio of higher education institutions derives approximately 7% of its total revenue from gifts.
GPO regulation called rigid
Proposals to regulate group purchasing organizations represent "a straight-jacket approach" to oversight that would increase total U.S. healthcare spending by billions of dollars, the heads of nine of the largest GPOs in the hospital industry said. The GPO chiefs made their comments in a letter to Sens. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), chairman and ranking minority member, respectively, of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that has been investigating GPO practices.