KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Hospitals In Florida, New York Try New Ways To Boost Finances

News outlets report on hospitals in Florida and New York.

Jackson Health System in Florida is trying to boost profitable services but faces "one overwhelming challenge: They don't know which procedures make money," The Miami Herald reports. "Experts say well-run hospitals -- for-profit and nonprofit -- have long known exact details on costs and revenue for each service they provide. Jackson officials say they've just started the process to buy software that will help them do that, but it may be some months before it's running. This issue is especially crucial for Jackson, which lost $244 million in fiscal 2009 and an estimated $88 million in 2010. Its leaders have been cutting costs, but they know the only long-term solution is to increase revenue. To do that, they must know whether, say, bariatric surgery has average costs that are more or less than the average revenue from insurers and patients" (Dorschner, 11/4).

The (Syracuse, N.Y.) Post-Standard: "Hospitals nationwide are snapping up doctors' practices to position themselves for health care reform and ensure they have adequate supplies of doctors," including St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center, which is buying "the largest private primary practice in Central New York. … Health care reform is expected to put financial pressure on hospitals, primary care doctors and other providers to align themselves so they can provide more streamlined, efficient care, said Tom Dennison, a Syracuse University professor and health care expert. Right now the health care payment system often puts hospitals and doctors at cross purposes, he said" (Mulder, 11/5).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.