A Shout-Out with Congrats to Hope Rachel Hetico

Professor of the Year – and – Birthday Greetings

 From the Medical Executive-Post Staff 

hetico3As a Distinguished Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Administration, our own Hope Rachel Hetico was named Professor-of-the-Year [second time] at the Atlanta Georgia campus of the University of Phoenix, Graduate School of Business and Management.

Yet, we are not surprised. Hope is a fiercely independent thinker, and while we don’t always see-eye-to-eye, we wanted to congratulate her and highlight some of her contributions to the industry and our endeavors. And today, January 11th, is also her birthday; so Mazel-Tov.

Early Endeavors

Hope received her nursing degree (RN) from Valpariso University and her Master of Science Degree in Healthcare Administration (MSHA) from the College of St. Francis, in Joliette, Illinois. She is author’s editor of a dozen major textbooks, chapters and white-papers and is a nationally known speaker and expert in managed care, medical reimbursement, case management, health insurance, utilization review, National Association of Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), Health Education Data Information Set (HEDIS), and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) rules and regulations. She was also national corporate Director for Medical Quality Improvement at Apria Healthcare, a public company in Costa Mesa, California.

Current Career

Prior to joining iMBA Inc., as Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Hetico was a hospital executive, financial advisor, insurance agent, and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality™ (CPHQ) www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com. Currently, she is a senior linguistic docent for the www.HealthDictionarySeries.com wiki-project and devotee of health information technology and andragogy. Hope is also responsible for leading www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com to the top of the exploding adult educational marketplace, expanding the online and on-ground Certified Medical Planner™ charter designation program, and nurturing the company’s rapidly growing list of financial, medical and institutional clients.

And, a Managing Editor, too!

Oh; did we mention that Hope is also managing-editor of Healthcare Organizations [Journal of Financial Management Strategies], our 2-volume – 1,200 pages – quarterly institutional subscription print guide; www.HealthcareFinancials.com?

A Toast 

 And so, hats-off to Hope Hetico; Professor of the Year! Whatever one thinks of her protean style, there is little doubt that she has been as responsible for the growth of this blog and communications forum, as anyone. And, as a traditional Polish-language birthday-cheer, we wish her “Sto-Lot”; or life to 100!

Let’s Par..tay

Come on. It’s a Celebration. Here’s to you Hope? Enjoy your party. The Margarita’s are on us!

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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Charity Care Law Violations

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Collections Agency Sued for Alleged Violations

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™]

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According to Ann Zieger of Fierce HealthFinance on January 7, 2009, a Washington state healthcare collection agency is being sued by a law firm for allegedly violating state charity care laws. This is a case that could become a class action if the firm gets its way.

The Case Argument

The case hinges on a Washington measure that, among other things, defines individuals and families with annual incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty level as officially eligible for hospital charity care with no charges.

The Law Firm

Seattle-based Phillips Law Group has filed a lawsuit claiming that healthcare collection firm Audit & Adjustment Company has been misleading patients by telling them they owe the full charges on hospital billing statements.

The Argument

The suit argues that the collections firm is required to tell patients that they might potentially be entitled to charity care that would cut or eliminate their hospital debts. It also alleges that this behavior violates not only Washington’s charity care law, but also the Consumer Protection Act [CPA] and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [FDCPA].

The Remedy

The attorneys seeks to stop the agency from attempting to collect from charity care-eligible patients, as well as to establish procedures to allow patients to qualify for charity care, and let patients from which it has collected in the past four years become eligible for reductions in their debt.

Related Cases

In an unrelated matter, a Missouri hospital based in St. Joseph, owned by Heartland Health, Inc has been sued over allegations that it too allowed its captive collections agency to collect without letting patient-debtors know the agency was owned by the same company as the hospital. Kansas City Attorney Derek Potts filed suit against the hospital, Heartland Regional Medical Center, on behalf of three clients, and is asking the court for class action status. The collection agency, Northwest Financial Services, is owned by Midwestern Health Management, which is also owned by Heartland. 

And, here in Atlanta, charitable entity Grady Memorial Hospital, the region’s only a Level I trauma center, just received a $200 million grant from a private foundation with ties to Coca-Cola. It was the largest gift on record to a single public hospital, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Grady has been struggling financially for some time, now.

Assessment

Considering the financial mismanagement and extreme revenue seeking tactics of some not-for-profit hospitals today – much like Mrs. Jellyby the misguided do-gooder in Charles Dickens’s “Bleak House” – some hospitals practice a form of “telescopic philanthropy” [first termed by Richard Oastler; in 1727]. As you may recall, Jellby neglected her chaotic family to devote time to improving conditions in distant Borrioboola-Gha, Africa. Conclusion

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Product DetailsProduct Details

Hospital Industry Summary

Statistical Results for 2007
Staff Writers

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In 2006, 52.4% of the 4,956 short-term, acute-care, nonfederal hospitals in the U.S. were affiliated with medical healthcare systems [MHSs], up from 51.8% of the 4,911 in 2005. Some other statistics are:

  • The average number of hospital days per 1,000 members of HMOs not owned by MHSs grew 6.6% in 2006, to 302.2 from 283.6 in 2005, the fifth consecutive annual increase.
  • In 2006, total hospital outpatient revenue was $103.6 million, up 9.9% from $94.3 million in 2005. As a consequence, the outpatient revenue percentage of total hospital revenue increased to 38.1% from 37.4% the prior year.
  • The average number of prescriptions dispensed to non-Medicare members of MHS-owned HMOs decreased slightly in 2006, to 8.5 from 8.7 the previous year.
  • Between 2005 (11,485.8) and 2006 (11,292.9), the average number of admissions fell at hospitals in MHSs that owned HMOs, the first such decline in this measure since 2001 (9,799.7).
  • Between 2005 and 2006, the ratio of FTE registered nurses (RNs) to occupied beds rose both at hospitals in MHSs that owned HMOs (to 2.08 from 2.05) and at hospitals in MHSs that did not own HMOs (to 2.02 from 2.00).
  • In 2006, total costs per occupied bed were just over $1.0 million at hospitals that were part of MHSs that owned HMOs, up 4.7% from $987,827 in 2005. Since 2001 ($821,194), these costs have risen by more than one-quarter (26.0%).
  • Non-MHS hospitals averaged 164.7 outpatient visits per day, up 5.2% from 156.6 in 2005, the fourth consecutive annual rise.
  • After rising notably between 2004 (60.2%) and 2005 (66.4%), the average intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy rate forMHS hospitals fell slightly in 2006, to 65.3%.
  • Pharmaceutical expenses per discharge at hospitals tied to government-run MHSs fell 27.9% in 2006, to $1,380 from $1,915 in 2005, reversing two straight years of double-digit growth.

*Acknowledgements

The editors and author acknowledges Verispan LLC, Yardley, Pa., as the research and reporting source for this data, reprinted with permission and based on information gathered by mail and telephone surveys gathered and effective as of December 31, 2008, unless otherwise noted.  It was commissioned, sponsored and underwritten in an arm’s length fashion by the Managed Care Digest Series of sanofi-aventis, Bridgewater, NJ, and developed and produced by Forte Information Resources, LLC, Denver, Colorado.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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