Despite Hospitals’ Eagerness For Mergers, It’s Not Always Good For Consumer Care
Chicago-area hospitals are joining forces but what effect will it have for patients? Meanwhile, a new Massachusetts health bill would pit large hospitals in the state against smaller ones.
Chicago-Area Hospitals Have Merger Fever. Is It Good For Patients?
Chicago-area health systems have merger fever, excitedly scooping up hospitals and joining forces in what they say is an effort to improve patient care and lower industry costs. But is it good for consumers’ care or pocketbooks? Not always, according to research and real-life examples. The list of Chicago-area hospitals teaming up with one another is ever-expanding. Just this month, Loyola Medicine announced plans to buy MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn and Rush said it would acquire Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers. (Schencker, 10/25)
Senate Bill Sets Large Hospitals Vs. Small Ones
A big new health care bill moving through Beacon Hill is pitting small community hospitals against industry giants owned by Partners HealthCare, as lawmakers try to control soaring costs in part by reducing the stark disparities at which hospitals are paid. The bill has already drawn stern objections from executives at two Partners hospitals, Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s, which could face fines under the legislation, but lawmakers are insisting they will move ahead with it. (McCluskey, 10/25)
And elsewhere, in hospital news —
Trinity Health Ponders Acquisitions Through Debt Offering
Trinity Health is considering a debt offering to fund acquisitions, the company said in a regulatory filing. The Catholic-sponsored health system, which is one of the nation's largest not-for-profit hospital systems, said it is looking at converting all or a portion of $1.36 billion of bonds. Separately, Trinity is also contemplating issuing $300 million in debt to acquire, construct, renovate or outfit new and existing facilities, plus an additional $300 million to acquire a "new regional health ministry," according to the filing. (Kacik, 10/25)
There’s A $10 Billion Fight To Keep You From Dying In The Hospital
The line between symbiosis and mortal combat is a fine one, both in the C-suite and at the cellular level. Michael Singer and Ben Favret thought they had the former when they began making plans for a better, safer line of medical apparel—a super scrub, if you will. Singer is chief executive officer of Strategic Partners, a manufacturer that controls an estimated 40 percent of the U.S. market for scrubs. Favret, a former pharmaceutical executive, is founder of Vestagen Protective Technologies, a startup launched in 2009 with the goal of making a bacteria-proof medical uniform. (Stock, 10/26)
The Associated Press:
Born In Sandy-Flood Hospital, Kids 'Stronger Than The Storm'
Their lives began with one of the most dramatic stories of Superstorm Sandy: the evacuation of 32 newborn babies from a major New York City hospital that got flooded and lost power. Hospital staffers tended to laboring women in the dark and carried mothers and tiny infants — 21 of them in intensive care — down stairways into the thick of the 2012 storm. Doctors and nurses squeezed air pumps by hand to fill some of the most fragile babies' little lungs. (Peltz, 10/26)
Mass. General Dilemma: Separate Conjoined Twins To Save One, Or Let Both Die?
The East African twins were born conjoined into a sort of a Y shape: They had separate heads and torsos, but they were connected lower down, at the abdomen and the pelvis. They shared a liver and a bladder and other lower-body organs, and had just three legs in all. And one of them, "Twin A," had heart and lung disease so serious that she was likely to die soon — and kill her sister in the process. (Goldberg, 10/25)