About a quarter of American hospitals are for-profit, that is, they are operated to generate profit for owners and stakeholders. A subsection of those hospitals, about 3%, have been acquired through private equity (PE) buyouts, whereby a PE firm raises funds to purchase a hospital. These PE transactions, also called "takeovers," are characteristically funded through leveraged debt - the firm takes out a loan secured by the purchased entity (the hospital), adding the burden of that debt to the balance sheet (and monthly expenses) of that facility. As a result, hospitals acquired by PE firms face additional pressures; they are operated not only to generate profit but also must repay large amounts of debt, used to fund the acquisition and now added to their balance sheet. A recent study looked into this subsection of hospitals to see how this added financial pressure impacted patient outcomes. The results? Patients are 25% more likely to be harmed by medical care at a private-equity acquired facility.
After you make the case for the healthcare innovation in terms of patient and facility benefits, anticipating possible risks, and demonstrating efficacy, the final step is to put all that data into financial terms. To calculate return on investment, you will need to determine, to the best degree possible, the costs of implementation, the potential costs of not implementing, and make connections to the facility and/or system plan for the future. In today's post, we will guide you to resources to help you accomplish these tasks.
Every successful organization, from a small grassroots group to a global corporation, has a way for ideas to percolate through the system and find their way to the top decision-makers. Human ingenuity can come from anywhere, including cost-saving ideas (the matchbox), ways to attract new demographics (Flamin' Hot Cheetos), retain current customers (Starbucks), and of course, launch completely new products (PlayStation). From our last post, we know that hospitals and healthcare systems allocate their budgets in advance, with limited protocols for integrating innovations. How can the individual with an idea get that innovation in front of the right people at the right time, and of course, in the right way? In today's post, we'll explore one method to get you there.
Hospital finances are a complex process, involving all the parts of a service provider, a retail business, an investment venture, and a non-profit organization. Investment in medical innovations require buy-in from anyone (and everyone) from physicians and nurses all the way to the CFO and CEO. In today's post, we will introduce a series on the topic of how hospitals budget and spend money, and how an individual employee can use that information in order to bring an innovative idea to the right person at the right time.
In our previous posts about DALYs and QALYs, we have defined the terms and presented how the healthcare field calculates these two measures of disease burden. In today's post, we will narrow our view to just hospital-associated infections and their disease burden. After reading this post, you should have a more detailed picture of the impact HAIs have on American lives.
How do you put an economic value on a human life? Why would you ever want to? As difficult as this quantification may be, it is a necessary practice in healthcare when evaluating the efficacy of an intervention, the appropriation of resources, as well as the framing of options for both the individual and a population. Two measures attempt to accomplish this valuation: Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) and Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). In the next series of posts, we will explore both these measures, and ultimately discuss how they are used in the field of infection control and prevention.
Large-scale healthcare projects, from new projects to renovations, face a challenging future. After the tedious process of securing permits and getting approved plans and even issuing press releases, many of these ambitious projects stall due to financial pressures. Increasingly, healthcare systems may hit the pause button as they take a closer look at cost-benefits, with emphases on expanding market share and reducing cost of care. In today's post, we will look at how a healthcare project can help achieve both goals by focusing on proven infection prevention infrastructure.
Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR, allows us to quickly identify a pathogen from a small sample. This rapid identification is a helpful change from traditional culturing methods, which can take several days. In today's post, we will explore how faster identification leads to better patient outcomes.
We have often discussed the different terms used to describe products that clean the patient environment in this blog. Using the correct terms, and understanding their full definitions, is a critical first step in both writing and learning about the field of infection control and prevention. One term that comes up often as we talk to folks not directly involved in the field is the broad term "antimicrobial." In today's post, we will look at how this broad term covers a huge variety of products and efficacy against pathogens, and we will provide some examples to put this word in context.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses a Prospective Payment System (PPS) to provide incentives for healthcare providers to be effective and efficient. Much like health maintenance organizations (HMOs), the PPS provides a flat fee for each service, encouraging providers to stay within efficient financial limits. (In contrast, the older fee-for-service model incentivized over-utilization of services.) Each year, CMS releases changes to the PPS, in their efforts to remain flexible to changing medical needs and feedback from patients and providers. Earlier this month, CMS released the final inpatient rule (all 2,087 pages), including a few important changes.