The sale of another bankrupt hospital

Ask yourself this:

Why are nearly all of these for-sale and just-sold hospitals bankrupt, financially teetering and on the brink or walking wounded?

Is it like this in your area?

I can name only 2 hospitals that are healthy, booming and growing… not so coincidental that one is in a very lush and rich upscale town and the other one has never had a problem booming and growing. There are theories why, but I won’t get into that on this post.

We cannot blame this on charity care; every single one of these hospitals has been getting charity care for decades.

We cannot blame this on illegal immigrants.  And we can’t blame this on lack of adequate health insurance.

So the deal is this:

Sell the hospital…

But do NOT send in an outside auditor to scrutinize the books from the last 10 years — nobody wants to find out WHY the hospital is bankrupt — it’s just Oh, we’ll just SELL it?

I suggest the last 10 years. All of the financial data has to be archived someplace.

5 thoughts on “The sale of another bankrupt hospital”

  1. The answer is in the first line of the article:

    The path has been cleared for the sale of Jersey City’s bankrupt Christ Hospital to a >>for-profit owner<<….

    Running a hospital to actually take care of people is costly and difficult. Running it for profit, on the edge of malpractice, with as few staffers as you can get away with, is a sweeter deal.

    Expect to see more of this in the future, especially after the Republican threat to dismantle health care reform passes.

  2. I think part of it is because hospitals have become express unlike in the past. Case in point, in 2005 I had knee surgery and in the past it would have required a few days hospital stay. Now with lasers and technology I went to an outpatient place, had it done in the morning and that evening was in my bed. I know people who have delivered babies and went home that day. I know people who had serious surgeries and went home a day or two instead of a week later.

    I have only been admitted to the hospital three times in my life and the last time was so long ago that the nurse on duty (who was really great)asked if she could watch Dynasty with me because it had a new episode. Yes it was THAT long ago where I was in the hospital. The other two times were when I got my tonsils removed and when I was born.

    I do not know how hospitals are doing around here, but one of them is getting a lot of out of wedlock births. I am assuming that most of them are on Medicaid but do not know for sure (54% of all births in Illinois are on Medicaid). However there are also a lot of wealthy people who go to the same hospital and a lot of senior citizens.

    In general hospitals have always been known for gouging customers. I know when I did go their I was told to take anything I might need because they overcharge people. When my mom had a stroke they charged her for things like a pregnancy test, though she was long out of menopause.

  3. If your mother was 60 or older the pregnancy test made no sense.

    And I remember when bills for a hospital stay used to be itemized.

    Every single med, service, you name it, was listed and the price of the item was next to the itemized listing.

    Not anymore.

    You are charged one flat fee — that doesn’t make sense, either — suppose you were being charged for services you never got? you have no proof you did NOT get that service but some dumbbell on the other end says you did. A poor way to do business.

    The entire hospital system in this country needs an overhaul. All of a sudden, all of these hospitals are bankrupt? How is that??? This would have been unheard of 20 years ago or more.

  4. What level of itemization do you want? It seems reasonable to charge a daily rate for a hospital stay because of the fixed costs of running the hospital. The $10 aspirin is the $1000 toilet seat of health care.

    Going from non-profit to for-profit status puts the hospital on the property tax rolls of Jersey City, which is one potential benefit. This is New Jersey, so I can’t discount the possibility that there has been some sweetheart deal cut that would tax the property at a lower rate than other business properties. I reserve the right to make fun of New Jersey because I lived there just over 25 years.

    A larger problem is that there is no transparency in medical costs. You don’t know what you will be charged for a service before it is rendered. One of the chief benefits of health insurance is that the fantasy price that a hospital or other medical care provider will charge a cash customer is bargained down substantially. I just had about $2000 worth of medical bills, but the cost to me was about $100. The insurance company paid about $800.

    Amateur conspiracy theorist that I am, I believe that the reason that the IRS is administering the penalty fee for not getting health insurance is to set the stage for taking away the tax preference given to health insurance, treating any employer share of the health insurance premium as income to the employee.

    There is a poison pill in Obamacare. Under it, health insurance companies are required to spend at least 80% of premiums on paying benefits to customers. Now we know why health insurance premiums went up.

  5. I am pretty sure that these former non profits paid a “goodwill contribution” to the city. My college did. That meant a lot to the middle class town that hosted our college campus.

    The ratable is great for them; they can use it.

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