OIG conducts Y2K survey
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and the Health Care Financing Administration are in the process of conducting a survey examining health care providers’ system readiness.
The survey is expected to include approximately 1,000 randomly selected home health agencies as well as hospitals, medical equipment suppliers and others in the health care field. If all goes according to plan, results are due out in March 1999. Once completed, the OIG plans to release the survey itself for use as a compliance assessment tool.
Tenet acquires eight hospitals, university
Santa Barbara, CA-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. has announced the purchase of eight Philadelphia area hospitals as well as that of the Allegheny University of the Health Sciences — all from the Allegheny Health, Education and Research Foundation — in a deal worth an estimated $345 million.
The 3,000-student university, which consists of both medical and nursing schools as well as schools of public and allied health, is to be renamed MCP Hahnemann University of the Health Sciences. It will remain affiliated with the newly acquired hospitals and is due to be restructured as a not-for-profit organization under the management of Drexel University, Tenet officials state.
The eight hospitals, each of which had been operating as debtors in possession under federal bankruptcy laws since July, bring a total of 2,484 licensed beds to the Tenet system in addition to annual revenues of approximately $1 billion. The newly renamed hospitals are: Hahnemann University Hospital (618 beds), Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital (465 beds), Graduate Hospital (330 beds), City Avenue Hospital (228 beds), Parkview Hospital (200 beds), Elkins Park Hospital (280 beds), Warminster Hospital (180 beds), and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children (183 beds).
Midnight at OASIS
With the deadline for OASIS implementation drawing near, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has released an estimated time line for OASIS-related activities pending publication of the regulations.
The expectation was that the OASIS User’s Manual was to be available for downloading from the organization’s Web site by the end of October, while HAVEN software was due out on Nov. 9. (CDs were to be available by Nov. 18.) Several deadlines were slated for December: OASIS regulations would clear the Health & Human Services Secretary and the Office of Management and Budget, and agencies would begin to collect OASIS data with assessments. According to HCFA, the submission of test data to the individual states will begin this month, whereas live data transmission will be up and running in February.
America speaks out on Medicare
The results of a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health were recently released and offer some interesting statistics, among them the fact that 84% of Americans oppose Medicare beneficiaries paying more out-of-pocket expenses, although 64% say they are against increasing payroll taxes to fund Medicare.
Sixty-three percent say they oppose raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67, while 60% of Americans feel that people 62 to 64 years old should be allowed to buy into Medicare early. Managed care isn’t a big favorite with those polled: 56% are against encouraging beneficiaries to move into it. Long-term care coverage was favored by 69% of Americans, and almost as many (68%) are for expanding the current benefits package to include prescription drugs. Finally, 48% are against cutting payments to doctors and hospitals.
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