KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Two Florida Hospitals Pay Millions To Settle Charges Of False Medicare Billing Claims

In addition, a Minnesota health department report notes that error rates for the state's hospitals stayed flat. News outlets also report on more hospital-related news in Florida as well as Illinois and Colorado.

Minnesota Public Radio: MN Hospitals' Error Levels Stay Flat
Hospitals say they are learning a lot, but eliminating errors is tougher than anyone thought it would be. Over the year ending last October, there were 316 adverse patient events — slightly higher than the year before, and on par with past years, according to a state Health department report released Friday. (Benson, 2/19)

The Chicago Tribune: U. Of C. Medical Center Will Add To Debt Load With Hospital Expansion
As other not-for-profit hospitals are reducing debt, University of Chicago Medicine is planning to borrow more money to finance a significant expansion of its Hyde Park campus. The medical center has amassed $868 million in long-term debt to modernize its health care facilities and expand to the suburbs. The credit rating agencies were already concerned about the amount of debt before the medical center announced plans Thursday to borrow an additional $200 million to enlarge its emergency room to add trauma services and increase the number of hospital beds by 30 percent. (Sachdev, 2/18)

The Denver Post: Broomfield-Based Hospital Group Part Of Whistleblower Settlement
Broomfield-based Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System and one of its Colorado hospitals were part of a $23 million federal settlement related to improper Medicare billing for cardiac devices implanted in patients. Five hospitals affiliated with SCL, including Saint Mary's Hospital & Regional Medical Center in Grand Junction, were part of the settlement. SCL agreed to pay $1.95 million to settle its portion of the claims. (Osher, 2/18)

The Miami Herald: Kindred Hospital In Hollywood Opens New 30-Bed Unit
Looking to expand its share of South Florida’s growing market for post-operative rehabilitation therapy and skilled nursing, Kindred Hospital South Florida-Hollywood this month announced the opening of a 30-bed unit at the medical center’s campus in South Broward. The new unit offers recovering patients rehabilitation therapy focused on daily living skills, according to Kindred’s announcement, which projects the new center will create 50 additional jobs at the hospital. (Chang, 2/18)

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