Hospitals: Another Merger; Patient Satisfaction As A Quality Indicator
Alexian announces merger with St.Louis-Based Ascension Health while a war of words continues between Community Health and Tenet. Also, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is finalizing the specifics of a new hospital reimbursement method that will link payment to patient satisfaction.
Chicago Sun Times: Alexian Brothers Merges With St. Louis-Based Ascension Health
Alexian Brothers Health System has signed a letter of intent to become part of the largest Catholic health system in the country. Alexian, which runs Catholic hospitals in Elk Grove Village and Hoffman Estates, said its decision to merge with St. Louis-based Ascension Health was the culmination of a two-year search for a partner (Thomas, 4/28).
Reuters: Community Health Says Tenet 'Misguided And Wrong'
Community Health Systems Inc, which has been trying to buy Tenet Healthcare Corp, rejected Tenet's accusations that it improperly admitted patients to its hospitals, calling its smaller rival "misguided and wrong." Community Health said it would work tirelessly to defend its reputation against Tenet's claims that it admitted patients to its facilities at a higher rate than other hospitals while observing fewer patients on an out-patient basis (Kelly, 4/28).
Kaiser Health News: Medicare To Begin Basing Hospital Payments On Patient-Satisfaction Scores
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is finalizing details for the new reimbursement method, required by last year's health care law. Consumer advocates say tying patient opinions to payments will result in better care. But many hospital officials are wary, arguing the scores don't necessarily reflect the quality of the care and are influenced by factors beyond their control (Rau, 4/29). Read the state-by-state rankings of hospital experiences.