VALUATION: Clinic and Medical Practice Worth

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By Robert James Cimasi MHA AVA CBA ASA FCBI MCMA CMP

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HISTORY: Medical Education and Practice in the USA

Domestic Medical SCHOOL Education

Robert James Cimasi

Todd A. Zigrang

Health Capital Consultants - Healthcare Valuation

U.S. medical education began in the late eighteenth century as an apprenticeship program in which physicians taught their trade to a few pupils, a pedagogical learning style which relied heavily upon the capacity, skills, and knowledge of the individual physician.[1] However, as learning newly discovered information and utilizing new technologies became more necessary to the industry’s practice, many physicians found the apprenticeship system no longer adequate as a manner of educating the next generation of physicians.[2] As a result, the conventional concept of medical education that originated in the U.S. in the 1750s was manifested through informal courses and demonstrations by private individuals or for-profit institutions. Those individuals who were not satisfied with a typical U.S. medical education, consisting of two identical 16-week lecture terms, might venture to Europe for a more formalized and detailed manner of learning.[3]

One of these students who studied in Europe was William Shippen, who began teaching an informal course on midwifery when he returned to the American colonies in 1762.[4] He later addressed the limitations of what might be taught in one informal course when he began teaching a lecture series on anatomy to help educate those who wished to be a physician, but could not travel abroad. John Morgan, a classmate of Shippen, noticed the potential of his friend’s endeavor and proposed the idea to create a professorship for the practice of medicine to the board of trustees of the College of Philadelphia.[5] Just across town, Thomas Bond, who conceived the idea of, and successfully established, the Pennsylvania Hospital with Benjamin Franklin, recognized the value to allowing medical students to participate in bedside training.[6] When Bond agreed to a partnership with the College of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania became home to America’s first medical school.[7]

In 1893, Johns Hopkins University also made history by housing the first medical school that was able to operate out of a university-owned hospital.[8] The medical school not only encouraged clinical research to be performed by every member of their faculty, but the program also included a clinical research clerkship for every student during their rotation.[9] This program quickly became the model to which schools aspired and set the foundation for national medical education by connecting science and medical research with clinical medicine.[10]

With these early examples of medical schools, America’s field of medical education and clinical medicine made monumental strides. However, the societal pressures, caused by the U.S.’s population growth and demand for educated physicians,[11] did not allow many other universities to build on Johns Hopkins’ or the University of Pennsylvania’s foundation model, and led to the development of medical schools that had their own unique set of entrance and graduation requirements. While some focused entirely on medicine, other schools (termed Studia Generalia) also incorporated law, theology, and philosophy in their curricula.[12] In an attempt to both understand and make uniform the field of medical education, the American Medical Association (AMA) founded the Council on Medical Education (CME) in 1904.[13] The CME created minimum national educational standards for training physicians, and subsequently found that many schools did not meet these established standards.[14] However, the CME did not share the ratings of any of these medical schools “outside the medical fraternity.”[15]

In 1910, the AMA commissioned the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching to conduct a study of medical education and schools.[16] Abraham Flexner conducted the inquiry and detailed his findings in what became known as The Flexner Report.[17] In his review of the U.S. medical education system, Flexner found that many of the proprietary medical schools met the AMA’s educational goals, but an imbalance existed between the pursuit of science and medical education.[18]  Professors were focused solely on student throughput, and did not ensure a high level of medical training that reflected the developments in the medical industry.[19] As aptly noted by Dr. John Roberts in his book entitled The Doctor’s Duty to the State, “[m]any of you remember the struggle to wrest from medical teachers the power to create medical practitioners with almost no real knowledge of medicine. The medical schools of that day were, in many instances, conducted merely as money-makers for the professors.”[20] As the AMA gained more influence over the provision of healthcare in the U.S., the value and power of medical education also gained recognition. Notably, teaching hospitals had the power to influence the development of their disciplines through their research initiatives, the quality of care they provided, and their ability to operate as an economy of scale, allowing them to dictate the evolution of medical education.[21]

Since the establishment of the first medical school in the U.S., medical education has been the foundation for shaping standards of care in the practice of medicine and defining medical errors as deviations from the norms of clinical care.[22] When Thomas Bond helped establish the University of Pennsylvania medical school, he envisioned a normal day where the physician:

…meets his pupils at stated times in the Hospital, and when a case presents adapted to his purpose, he asks all those Questions which lead to a certain knowledge of the Disease and parts affected; and if the Disease baffles the power of Art and the Patient falls a Sacrifice to it, he then brings his Knowledge to the Test, and fixes Honour [sic] or discredit on his Reputation by exposing all the Morbid parts to View, and Demonstrates by what means it produced Death, and if perchance he finds something unexpected, which Betrays an Error in Judgement [sic], he like a great and good man immediately acknowledges the mistake, and, for the benefit of survivors, points out other methods by which it might have been more happily treated.[23]

Originally, students were to study and learn from medical errors and adverse events through medical education as a means of improving the quality of care. However, it is difficult to effectively implement any significant advancement learned through the research and investigation of prior errors in a timely and cost-effective manner. Additionally, physician supply shortages have only increased the amount of patients that a physician must see daily, while simultaneously decreasing the amount of time they can spend with each patient. Although medical education continues to be one of the central underpinnings to the development of the medical industry, outside pressures that shape the clinical practice of physicians continue to limit physician effectiveness in providing quality care to patients.[24]

While improving the quality and rigor of medical education has been a constant focus throughout the history of U.S. medical education, the challenges of replicating it on a scale that produces enough qualified physicians to meet the growing demands of the U.S. population, with constantly changing technologies, has consistently been a central issue. Notably, in the 13 years preceding 1980, the ratio of actively practicing physicians to patients increased by 50%.[25] This increased physician-to-patient ratio led to concerns over quality of care and cost-effectiveness, which in turn caused the creation of a government committee to evaluate physician manpower allocation and distribution. The Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee (GMENAC) was first chartered in April 1976, and later extended through September 1980.[26] Its purpose was to “analyze the distribution among specialties of physicians and medical students and to evaluate alternative approaches to ensure an appropriate balance,”as well as to“encourage bodies controlling the number, types, and geographic location of graduate training positions to provide leadership in achieving the recommended balance.”[27] GMENAC produced seven volumes of recommendations regarding physician manpower supply,[28]  through the development of several models by which to determine the projected number of physicians that would be needed in the future by different subspecialties to achieve “a better balance of physicians.”[29] Ignoring critics of the report, U.S. medical schools adjusted their enrollment numbers in response to the GMENAC’s recommendations, causing a significant decrease in the supply of new physicians going into the 21st century.

***

History of Conventional Medicine - 24 Hour Translation ...

[1]       “Healthcare Valuation: The Four Pillars of Healthcare Value,” Volume 1, Robert James Cimasi, MHA, ASA, FRRICS, MCBA, CVA, CM&AA, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ: 2014, p. 22-23.RR

[2]       “Before There Was Flexner,” American Medical Student Association, 2014,

         http://www.amsa.org/AMSA/Homepage/MemberCenter/Premeds/edRx/Before.aspx (Accessed 1/7/15).

[3]       “Time to Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the Era of Managed Care,” By Kenneth M. Ludmerer, New York, NY:

          Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 4.

[4]       “The Flexner Report on Medical Education in the United States and Canada in 1910,” By Abraham Flexner, Bethesda, MD: Science and Health

         Publications, Inc., p. 3-5.

[5]       “The Flexner Report on Medical Education in the United States and Canada in 1910,” By Abraham Flexner, Bethesda, MD: Science and Health

         Publications, Inc., p. 3-5.

[6]       “The Flexner Report on Medical Education in the United States and Canada in 1910,” By Abraham Flexner, Bethesda, MD: Science and Health

         Publications, Inc., p. 3-5.

[7]       “Before There Was Flexner,” American Medical Student Association, 2014,

         http://www.amsa.org/AMSA/Homepage/MemberCenter/Premeds/edRx/Before.aspx (Accessed 1/7/15).

[8]       “Time to Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the Era of Managed Care,” By Kenneth M. Ludmerer, New York, NY:

          Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 18-19.

[9]       “Time to Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the Era of Managed Care,” By Kenneth M. Ludmerer, New York, NY:

          Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 18-19.

[10]     “Science and Social Work:  A Critical Appraisal,” By Stuart A. Kirk, and William James Reid, New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2002, Chapter 1, p. 2-3.

[11]     “The Flexner Report on Medical Education in the United States and Canada in 1910,” By Abraham Flexner, Bethesda, MD: Science and Health

          Publications, Inc., p. 6-7.

[12]     “Western Medicine: An Illustrated History,” By Irvine Loudon, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 58.

[13]     “Western Medicine: An Illustrated History,” By Irvine Loudon, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 58.

[14]     “Western Medicine: An Illustrated History,” By Irvine Loudon, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 58.

[15]     “Western Medicine: An Illustrated History,” By Irvine Loudon, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 58.

[16]     “U.S. Health Policy and Politics: A Documentary History,” By Kevin Hillstrom, Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press, 2012, p. 141.

[17]     “The Flexner Report on Medical Education in the United States and Canada in 1910,” By Abraham Flexner, Bethesda, MD: Science and Health

         Publications, Inc., p. 3-19.

[18]     “The Flexner Report on Medical Education in the United States and Canada in 1910,” By Abraham Flexner, Bethesda, MD: Science and Health

         Publications, Inc., p. 3-19.

[19]     “The Flexner Report on Medical Education in the United States and Canada in 1910,” By Abraham Flexner, Bethesda, MD: Science and Health

         Publications, Inc., p. 3-19.

[20]     “The Doctor’s Duty to the State: Essays on The Public Relations of Physicians,” By John B. Roberts, AM, MD, Chicago, IL: American Medical Association Press, 1908, p. 23.

[21]     “Time to Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the Era of Managed Care,” By Kenneth M. Ludmerer, New York, NY:

          Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 19.

[22]     “Science and Social Work:  A Critical Appraisal,” By Stuart A. Kirk, and William James Reid, New York: Columbia University Press, 2002, Chapter 1, p. 2-3.

[23]     “Dr. Thomas Bond’s Essay on the Utility of Clinical Lectures,” By Carl Bridenbaugh, Journal of the History of Medicine (Winter 1947), p. 14; “The Flexner Report on Medical Education in the United States and Canada in 1910,” By Abraham Flexner, Bethesda, MD: Science and Health

         Publications, Inc., p. 4.

[24]     “Time to Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the Era of Managed Care,” By Kenneth M. Ludmerer, New York, NY:

          Oxford University Press, 1999, p. xxi.

[25]     “How many doctors are enough?” By J.E. Harris, Health Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 4 (1986), p.74.

[26]   “Report of the Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee to the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services – Volume VII,” Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1981, p. 5, 16.

[27]     “Report of the Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee to the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services – Volume VII,” Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1981, p. 73.

[28]     “Report of the Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee to the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services – Volume VII,” Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1981, p. 5-6.

[29]     “GMENAC: Its Manpower Forecasting Framework,” By D.R. McNutt, American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 71, No. 10 (October 1981), p. 1119.

[30]     “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century,” Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, 2001, front matter.

[31]     “Overview of Medical Errors and Adverse Events,” By Maité Garrouste-Orgeas, et al., Annals of Intensive Care, Vol. 2, No. 2 (2012), p. 6.

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Courts Examine Use of Statistical Sampling in False Claims Act Cases

Courts Examine Use of Statistical Sampling in False Claims Act Cases 

By Robert James Cimasi MHA CMP™
***
The False Claims Act (FCA) continues to grow in strength as the federal government and relators increase their use of the law to recover billions of dollars from companies that violate the Act’s provisions. Developments in the application and interpretation of the FCA, particularly in regard to the issue of statistical sampling in proving damages, may significantly influence the regulatory risk to healthcare enterprises, in light of the significant volume of recoveries received by the government under this law for healthcare fraud and abuse violations.
***
In recent months, interpretation of the FCA influenced the outcome of two prominent healthcare fraud and abuse cases: (1) U.S. ex rel. Michaels v. Agape Senior Community (Agape), originating in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina and heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit; and, (2) U.S. ex rel. Ruckh v. Genoa Healthcare Consulting, Inc. (Genoa), in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The cases, both of which explored the utilization of statistical sampling in proving damages under the FCA, leave unclear the standards associated with the admissibility of expert testimony in this context.
***
Assessment
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This Health Capital Topics article summarizes the Agape and Genoa cases, and discusses the role that statistical sampling may play in future FCA actions. (Read more…)

***

Conclusion

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The PP-ACA’s Impact on Medical Liability Insurance?

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BY ROBERT JAMES CIMASI; MHA, ASA, FRICS, MCBA, AVA, CM&AA, CMP

HEALTH CAPITAL CONSULTANTS, LLC

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Aside from differences in insurer behavior, malpractice lawsuit rates, and political responses at the state level, the ACA may also have an impact on the medical liability insurance market. Following several months of partisan controversy and political debate during President Obama’s first term, Congress passed the ACA in March 2010.[1] While not achieving a universal coverage insurance program or a single payor system, the 2010 healthcare reform legislation marked the beginning of a new era in healthcare reform, resulting in a paradigm change in the way healthcare services are delivered and paid for in the U.S.

Some of the ACA’s initiatives have already had significant impact upon many aspects of the healthcare delivery system, including: (1) increased regulatory scrutiny aimed at combating fraud and abuse and antitrust violations; (2) health plan regulation; (3) addressing physician shortages; (4) access to and quality of care initiatives; and, (5) increased attention to public health and wellness activities, among others.[2]

In contrast, the ACA’s impact on the medical liability insurance market, and the medical malpractice system, is relatively unknown. The Medical Liability Monitor’s 2010 annual rate survey noted that 41% of medical liability insurers did not believe that the ACA would impact medical liability insurance markets;[3] however, by 2011, as stated above, this attitude had changed to reflect increasing concerns about provider consolidation and self-insurance for professional liability by providers.[4] These concerns continue to reflect the thinking of medical liability insurers, in part, because there have been few, if any, answers to alleviate their concerns and measure the ACA’s impact on the incidence and cost of medical malpractice.

Some of the medical liability insurer concerns regarding the ACA’s impact stems from the reality that the only one of two sections of the ACA directly relating to medical liability insurance and the current medical malpractice system have been implemented. Section 6801 of the ACA simply provides a policy statement regarding medical malpractice, stating that the U.S. Senate believes that “health care reform presents an opportunity to address issues related to medical malpractice and medical liability insurance,” and encourages Congress, as a whole, to develop demonstration programs with the goal of discovering alternatives to the current civil litigation system for medical malpractice.[5] Additionally, Section 10607 of the ACA authorizes HHS to award grants to states “for the development, implementation, and evaluation of alternatives to current tort litigation” for medical malpractice claims.[6] This section allows HHS to make $50 million available for these demonstration projects subject to Congressional approval.[7] To date, neither Congress nor the President has requested funding for these projects.[8]

Even without these direct impacts, the medical malpractice system may still face changes as a result of the ACA. First, as providers consolidate with larger health systems, medical liability insurers fear the medical liability insurance market “will shrink as their former customers become their competitors.”[9] From 2011 to 2014, medical liability insurers consistently noted to the Medical Liability Monitor that hospital or ACO acquisitions of physician practices act as “the biggest threat to their market share” because of the entity’s ability to better absorb the risk related to malpractice liability.[10] In theory, this ability to absorb medical professional liability risk will allow higher rates of self-insurance, which can affect the rates of straight indemnity insurers.  Second, the number of malpractice claims is expected to increase as more individuals gain health insurance coverage as a result of ACA enactments.

Obama Care

A 2007 Journal of the American Medical Association study concluded that insured persons who suffer a chronic condition receive higher quality and increased care compared to non-insured persons; reinforcing earlier studies suggesting insured persons receive more care than uninsured persons.[11] Building on this premise, a RAND report on the ACA and liability insurance relationships estimated that with the expected influx of newly-insured individuals, particularly in states expanding Medicaid, more physician-patient encounters will increase the volume of overall medical errors, leading to an increase in medical malpractice lawsuits.[12] Consequently, the RAND report estimates that the number of liability payments in medical malpractice actions will increase by 3.4% between pre-ACA insurance plan enrollment and enrollment post-ACA implementation.[13]

Additionally, the RAND report argues that, due to an increase in insurance plan enrollment, medical malpractice payments per claim will actually decrease in states adopting limitations to the collateral source rule. Under the collateral source rule, the damage awards for injured parties do not take into account payments previously received from other sources; consequently, the damage award includes the value of funds collected by another source (e.g., insurance) while allowing the injured party to keep the benefits of that previous value received.[14] In the medical malpractice context, plaintiffs in states adopting the collateral source rule can collect from the physician (or his medical liability insurer) as well as keep the benefits of healthcare reimbursed by their own health insurer. However, some states limit the application of the collateral source rule in medical malpractice cases where the plaintiff’s health insurance already paid for care resulting from the negligent actions of the physician, thereby preventing the plaintiff from receiving this double windfall. As insurance rates rise, RAND estimates that payouts per claim will decrease by 0.6% nationally.[15] Considering the three effects together, RAND projects that total liability claim costs will increase by 2.8% nationally by 2016 as a result of the ACA.[16]

Conversely, other healthcare industry commentators argue that the ACA’s expansion of coverage to previously uninsured individuals, as well as quality of care initiatives, will actually decrease malpractice costs by reducing the number of adverse events suffered by patients.[17] In a 2010 editorial in the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, Mark A. Rothstein, the Director of Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, & Law at the University of Louisville – Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, argued that quality and infrastructure initiatives such as increased EHR usage, expansion of outcomes research and use of evidence-based medical standards, and better care coordination, will limit the number of adverse events that provide the basis for a medical malpractice claim.[18] Further, Rothstein posited that, by simply being insured, “significant numbers of injured patients are likely to forego medical malpractice claims.”[19]

Although President Obama signed the ACA in 2010, the effects of this landmark law on the medical malpractice market remain hazy. The current trend toward healthcare consolidation, accountable care, and self-insurance mirrors similar consolidation practices in the mid-1990s, which increased competition in the medical liability insurance market and eroded proper underwriting practices. Nevertheless, other critical ACA effects remain unknown. The impact of the expansion of health insurance coverage will likely remain unclear for the near future because new enrollees began receiving coverage through health insurance exchanges in 2014, limiting the amount of exposure to healthcare interactions that could give rise to an adverse event and result in a medical malpractice suit. Additionally, the average length of litigation surrounding preventable adverse events lasts 43.1 months from the date of the incident to the date of resolution,[20] which limits medical liability insurers from realizing the full costs of a claim and the aggregate of claims in its risk pool.

RISK

Assessment

Now, assuming that increased enrollment does not affect the average length of medical malpractice litigation,[21] the average newly insured person who suffered a preventable adverse event in July 2014 will not resolve his or her claim until March 2018. With this lag time of almost four years between adverse events and claims, it is likely that the full impact of the ACA on the medical malpractice market and medical liability insurance premiums will not be fully known until the next decade.

Conclusion

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References 

[1]      “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (March 23, 2010); “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act” Public Law 111-152, 124 Stat. 1029 (March 25, 2010).

[2]       “Restructuring, Consolidation in Health Care Make Reform Top Health Law Issue for 2010,” By Susan Carhart et al., BNA Health Law Reporter, Vol. 19, No. 5 (January 8, 2010).

[3]       “Now Hard & Crunchy on the Outside: Could Strong Financials be Hiding a Market That’s Growing Soft Within?” By Chad C. Karls, FCAS, MAAA, Medical Liability Monitor, Vol. 35, No. 10, October 2010, p. 4.

[4]       “From Crunchy Candy to Simmering Frogs: Waiting and Hoping for a Hardening Market as the Market Trends Slowly, Steadily Softer,” By Chad C. Karls, FCAS, MAAA, Medical Liability Monitor, Vol. 36, No. 10 (October 2011), p. 5.

[5]       “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 804 (March 23, 2010).

[6]       “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 1009 (March 23, 2010).

[7]       “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 1014 (March 23, 2010).

[8]       “Medical Liability Reform – Demonstration Grants,” American College of Physicians, 2013, http://www.acponline.org/advocacy/where_we_stand/assets/iii12-medical-liability-reform-demo.pdf (Accessed 12/23/14).

[9]       “From Crunchy Candy to Simmering Frogs: Waiting and Hoping for a Hardening Market as the Market Trends Slowly, Steadily Softer,” By Chad C. Karls, FCAS, MAAA, Medical Liability Monitor, Vol. 36, No. 10 (October 2011), p. 5.

[10]     “The Slinky Effect: With Medical Professional Liability Insurance Rates Continuing to – Slowly and Steadily – Decline During the Most Recent Soft Market, It Appears It will Take Several More Years Before the Market Hardens and Rates Accelerate Upward,” By Chad C. Karls, FCAS, MAAA, Medical Liability Monitor, Vol. 39, No. 10 (October 2014), p. 6; “Casualty Actuarial Society Session Debates Potential Medical Professional Liability Implications of PPACA,” Medical Liability Monitor, Vol. 39, No. 7 (July 2014), p. 4.

[11]     “Insurance Coverage, Medical Care Use, and Short-Term Health Changes Following an Unintentional Injury or the Onset of a Chronic Condition,” By Jack Hadley, Ph.D., Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 297, No. 10 (March 14, 2007), p. 1080.

[12]     “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 30.

[13]     “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 30.

[14]     “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 18.

[15]     “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 18.

[16]     “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 37.

[17]  “How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Liability Insurance Costs?” By David I. Auerbach et al., RAND Corporation, 2014, p. 40-41

[18]     “Currents in Contemporary Bioethics: Health Care Reform and Medical Malpractice Claims,” By Mark A. Rothstein, Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, Winter 2010, p. 871.

[19]     “Currents in Contemporary Bioethics: Health Care Reform and Medical Malpractice Claims,” By Mark A. Rothstein, Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, Winter 2010, p. 872.

[20]     “On Average, Physicians Spend Nearly 11 Percent of their 40-Year Careers with an Open, Unresolved Malpractice Claim,” By Seth A. Seabury et al., Health Affairs, Vol. 32, No. 1 (January 2013), p. 114.

[21]     This assumption is faulty, as it is unknown at this point whether or not claims will increase, whether insurers will or will not enter the market, and whether malpractice caseloads will increase due to the ACA.

Risk Management, Liability Insurance and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors

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   Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

 Harvard Medical School

Boston Children’s Hospital – Psychiatrist

Yale University

***

A Hospital Industry Outlook for 2013

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One Expert’s Opinion

By Ann Miller RN MHA

[Managing Editor]

The ME-P and nation recently celebrated National Hospital Week for 2013. And so, what better time than now to ask health economist and financial expert Robert James Cimasi MHA, ASA, AVA, CMP for his take on the industry outlook. www.HealthCapital.com

cimasiHistory Background and Overview

The U.S. Healthcare Delivery System is facing what is perhaps its greatest challenge in the expected demand for increased health services from the aging of the “baby-boom” generation, the fastest-growing segment of the population.

The enactment of healthcare reform in March 2010, requiring increased insurance coverage requirements for individuals and employers, will also increase patient demand for hospital inpatient and outpatient services in the coming years.

Hospital Industry 

The hospital industry continues to face many challenges in the changing healthcare environment, including workforce shortages, rising healthcare costs to provide care, and difficulty acquiring needed capital. With consistent financial stresses, hospitals in some areas appear to be struggling.

However, general acute-care hospitals recorded record high profits of $35.2 billion in 2006, an increase of over 20% from 2005.  Total net revenues for general acute-care hospitals were $587.1 billion, resulting in an average profit margin of 6% (the highest since 1997, when the average profit margin was 6.7%).

While the demand for healthcare continues to rise, the site of service also continues to evolve as more procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and by freestanding facilities rather than by inpatient acute care hospitals.  As evidence of this trend, the number of freestanding ambulatory care surgery centers increased from 2,864 in 2000 to 5,197 in 2006.

U.S. healthcare costs are again increasing after their rate of growth slowed in the mid-1990s.

In 2009, total national health expenditures (NHE) in the U.S. grew to $2.5 trillion, a 5.7% increase from 2008.  Meanwhile, the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 1.1%, and as a result, NHE increased from 16.2% to 17.3% of the GDP: the largest one-year increase-in history. Additionally, healthcare spending has been projected to grow to 19.6% by 2016. The potential impact of the 2010 healthcare reform legislation to reduce rising healthcare expenditures is yet uncertain.

According to a 2002 study conducted by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), inpatient costs are responsive to hospital market organization.  Each 1% increase in for-profit hospital market share is associated with a 2% increase in inpatient expenditure per person.  Conversely, each 1% increase in network hospital market share corresponds to a 1% decrease in inpatient expenditures.

Risk Sharing

As healthcare costs again continue to rise faster than inflation in the overall economy in 2013, driven by advances in technology and treatment (as well as the growing baby-boomer population), pressures to reduce costs, such as those included in the ACA will result in a changed paradigm for healthcare delivery.

Reimbursement mechanisms are increasingly designed to control costs and access, and hospitals must continually adjust to deal with increasing pressure to contain reimbursement and utilization levels; ie., share financial risks.

The Marketplace

The healthcare marketplace continues to experience dramatic change as the business of healthcare becomes increasingly competitive, particularly in the outpatient ancillary services arena.  Providers and payors continue to seek to control costs and markets. Legal and regulatory issues also affect change as providers adapt to new opportunities and restrictions.

In particular, there are a wide variety of cost, operational, and regulatory pressures impacting the specialty and surgical hospital industry.

Of course, these pressures are offset by the stable and increasing demand for hospital services, particularly for those hospitals already in operation.

national-hospital-week

Assessment

Bob feels that hospitals that are operationally efficient will continue to be successful within this environment; others will not. How about you?

More: Financial Management Strategies for Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations : Tools, Techniques, Checklists and Case Studies

More: Arkansas Medical News Interviews Dr. Marcinko

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Understanding the Premise of Appraisal Value and Investment Time Horizon

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Key Issues in Healthcare Entity Valuation and Appraisal

By Robert James Cimasi; MHA, ASA, AVA, CBA, CMP™

cimasiwww.HealthCapital.com

The Premise of Value under which any healthcare entity fair market valuation is conducted is an assumption further defining the Standard of Value to be used.

The Premise of Value defines the hypothetical terms of the sale and answers the question, “Value under what further defining circumstances?”  Two general concepts relate to the consideration and selection of the Premise of Value, i.e., “value in use” and “value in exchange.”

Value in Use

Value in use is that premise of value that assumes that the assets will continue to be used as part of an ongoing business enterprise, producing profits as a benefit of ownership.

For example, in valuing the assets of a surgical hospital, the valuator must determine whether it is appropriate to value simply the tangible assets, or if it is appropriate to consider the enterprise as a going concern and incorporate the potential value of intangible assets. Orderly liquidation value involves assuming that the equipment is sold, perhaps separately, over a reasonable period of time. Forced liquidation assumes that the equipment is sold as quickly as possible to the first bidder.

Value in Exchange

Value in exchange is often referred to as “liquidation value.”  Liquidation value describes a sale of the assets of a business enterprise under conditions other than its continued operation as a going concern.

The liquidation can be on the basis of an orderly disposition of the assets where more extensive marketing efforts are made and sufficient time is permitted to achieve the best price for all assets, or on the basis of forced liquidation where assets are sold immediately and without concern for obtaining the best price.

hospital

Liquidation

Of course, costs of liquidation should be considered in the value estimate when using this premise of value.  Shortening the investment time horizon may have a deleterious effect on the valuation of the subject entity as it presents a restriction on the available pool of buyers and investors and the level of physician ownership, as required under the standard of Fair Market Value.

Assessment

Do the dual issues of value premise and time horizon still seem logical in modernity; why or why not? How comfortable are you that a reasonable FMV can be determined for any healthcare entity after passage of  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March of 2010? Please comment and opine. 

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Current Outlook for the Hospital Industry

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Adaptation is Key in 2010 and Going Forward

By Robert James Cimasi; MHA, ASA, AVA, CBA, CMP™

cimasi

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Hospitals today must continually adjust to deal with pressures to contain reimbursement and utilization levels.  The continuing cost containment pressures manifest themselves in many patients being shifted not only to lower acuity treatments but also to other providers.

Reimbursement mechanisms are increasingly designed to control costs and access. Managed care insurance plans continue to be a strong influence as payers for acute care hospital services. Medicare’s HOPPS [hospital outpatient prospective payment system] has reduced many of the financial benefits of shifting more care to outpatient settings.

Personnel Shortages

Personnel shortages have plagued the industry, and with the pending retirement of baby-boomers, relief from these shortages seems remote. This population also heavily influences the consumer side of the industry, since healthcare plans are based heavily upon demographics.  Aging baby-boomers are the fastest-growing segment of the population; the portion of the population over 65 years old is expected to increase from 20 million in 1970 to 69.4 million in 2030. Following closely behind is the increase in other minority populations.  Both groups will influence how healthcare services are dispensed.

Additionally, despite pressure to limit ALOS [average length of stay] and the shift to outpatient and freestanding, off-campus care, there will continue to be demand for acute care hospitals and the demographic trends will support this demand for many years.

Technology

Technological advances always play a central role in changing the medical industry.  The issue will be how healthcare providers will adopt new technologies under their current capital constraints.

Currently, health care insurance coverage is a major unfolding issue in the US, and there remains uncertainty about the future level of both public and private insurance coverage.  Now, facing the recent economic instability, employers are looking at restraining healthcare benefits for their employees even more as a way to stay profitable.

Assessment

The decline in the healthcare workforce coinciding with the increase in labor costs and resource consumption poses an ongoing challenge.  And yet, in the midst of the economic turmoil, hospitals must continue to provide services while remaining aware of the economic threats that may still lie ahead.

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Barriers to Free Market Competition in Healthcare Delivery

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Why Supply and Demand Doesn’t Work in Medicine

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA

[Publisher-in-Chief]

Much has been written here, and elsewhere, about free market competition in healthcare; especially in light of the current national political debates. Yet, these markets are not free.

Like Evolution – Healthcare Competition is Only a Theory

Perfectly competitive healthcare markets are not free; they exist only in economic theory as a useful comparative artifice. In reality, industries and markets have varying constraints on competition. The healthcare industry has often been characterized as unique with its many significant barriers to free market competition, such as market controls on price and quality.

According to colleague Robert James Cimasi, of Health Capital Consultants LLC, in St. Louis MO; there are three main reasons for these barriers in healthcare:

Competitive Healthcare Barriers 

  1. The nature of healthcare creates an unpredictable, urgent, and “infinite” level of demand.
  2. The ubiquitous involvement of insurance companies, private and governmental, as intermediary organizations in the purchase of healthcare interferes with consumer motivations and consequently their choice of providers and services.
  3. The difficulties in measuring healthcare quality and beneficial outcomes (both of quantifying and qualifying them) and the lack of information on the relative costs of healthcare providers and services also inhibit consumer selection, further removing incentives to providers to increase quality and lower costs. 


Barriers to Healthcare Competition               

Included among the many other barriers to competition in healthcare delivery are the following:

  • Patients don’t purchase services directly from providers;
  • Patients don’t compare prices between providers;
  • The government is the largest purchaser of healthcare;
  • Private purchasers often lack market power;
  • Patients, purchasers and providers lack information;
  • Occupational licensing;
  • Many providers have monopoly or near-monopoly power (yet antitrust laws prevent some potentially beneficial integration);
  • Providers are rewarded for increasing costs;
  • Capital investments are overly subsidized (It should be noted that Stigler argues that an industry will not use its power to collect money from the government unless the list of beneficiaries can be limited, due to the fact the amount of subsidies will be divided among a growing number of rivals.*
  • Certificate of Need (CON), regulation, and licensing laws are an entry barrier to competing and substitute providers and services; and
  • Exit barriers protect low-quality providers.

Assessment

Of course, the supply side is also flagrantly encouraged by excessive medical testing, procedural interventions and surgery; mostly excused by malpractice phobia as a well as the personal financial interests of involved stakeholders.

References

Stigler, George J. “The Theory of Economic Regulation.” The Bell Journal of Economics and Management Science. Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring 1971): 5.

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Understanding the Need for Onsite Practice Management Visits

Interview Information also Important

By Dr. David E. Marcinko and Staff Reporters

www.healthcareFinancials.comHO-JFMS-CD-ROM

According to Robert James Cimasi MHA, ASA, AVA, CMP™ of Health Capital Consultants, LLC, in St. Louis, MO, the following types of information specific to medical practices should be gathered by the financial executive, financial advisor or healthcare consultant when performing a practice enhancement engagement, or especially, an economic valuation and appraisal. This information may be obtained through an interview, questionnaire, or preferably a site visit:

  • Background Information: Include such information as the number of years the entity has operated at its current location and in the community, as well as the office hours.
  • Building Description: Include the location (urban/suburban), proximity to hospitals and other medical facilities, and its size, construction, electrical and computer wiring, age, access to parking, and so on.
  • Office Description: Approximate acquisition details and price, as well as ownership or lease details should be included.  The square footage and number of rooms, and a description of different office areas should be outlined, including, where applicable: medical equipment, including all diagnostic imaging and major medical equipment; pharmacy, laboratory, examination rooms, waiting rooms, and other areas.
  • Management Information Systems: Document types of hardware and software and the cost, age, and suitability of all components, including their management functions, reporting capabilities, and integration between programs.
  • History of the Entity: Give the date founded and by whom, the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) physicians in practice by year, the physicians who have joined and left the entity, the dates they practiced at the entity, and their relationship and practice arrangement with the entity.
  • Staff Description: Include the number and types of non-physician positions as well as the tenure and salary of all current employees.
  • Competitive Analysis: Include details of hospital programs impacting practice, growth or decline in the volume of business and the reasons, association with other physicians, competitive strengths and threats, the number and volume of procedures performed, any change in the number and volume, and the corresponding fees.
  • Patient Base Information: Encompass income distribution and percentages from different payors, the number of new patients and total patients seen per week, the age mix of patients, the number of hours spent in patient care per week, and the number of surgeries performed.
  • Managed Care Environment: Details the terms and conditions of all managed care contracts including discounts and withholds, the impact on referral patterns and revenues, willingness to participate in risk sharing contracts and capitation, and the entity’s managed care reporting capabilities.
  • Hospital Privileges and Facilities: List all hospital privileges held by physician members of the medical practice and the requirements for acquiring privileges at the different local hospitals.
  • Credit Policy and Collections: Include practice policies for billing and payment, use of collection agencies, acceptance of assignments, other sources of revenues, and an aged breakdown of accounts receivable.
  • Financial Management: Include cash management procedures and protections, credit lines and interest, controls to improve payment of accounts payable, late payment frequency, formal or informal financial planning methods, and budgeting processes.
  • Operational Assessment: Include governance structure for the entity, detailing responsibilities and procedures for performance, conflicts, recruitment, outcomes measures, case management, reimbursement; income, continuing medical education (CME), credentialing, and utilization review.

Assessment

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The financial advisor must also allow for discussion of overall relationships with physicians in the community, practice concerns, and needs.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Have you ever had such an onsite visit? Was it by a fiduciary financial advisor or medical management consultant; or other? What was the outcome? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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On Growing Tensions in Healthcare Services Markets

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Stressors Affecting all Stakeholders

[By Robert James Cimsai; MHA, AVA, ASA, CMP™]

http://www.HealthCapital.com

The changes in reimbursement for Medicare services through the introduction of prospective payment systems and physician reimbursement cuts for professional services, as well as the increased focus on patient quality and transparency initiatives and health 2.0 collaboration have forced healthcare providers to look for more efficient ways to provide services, as well as additional sources of revenue and margin-producing business.

Additionally, with the rise of corporate healthcare provider networks and health systems, together with rising healthcare costs, competition among providers has become prevalent in the healthcare industry.

Assessment

Strict control of reimbursement costs from payers and consistent decreases in physician professional component fee reimbursement yields; reduction in traditional hospital inpatient use; and higher costs of capital have all contributed to the trend of physician investment in outpatient (and inpatient) specialty provider enterprises [ASCs, specialty hospitals and clinics, etc] , which often compete with general acute care community hospital providers.

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Defining Hospital Competitive Markets

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Clarifying Often Nebulous and Contentious Terminology

[By Staff Reporters]

According to Robert James Cimasi; MHA, CMP™ of Health Capital Consultants LLC in St. Louis, MO; the definition of a hospital’s “market” is often nebulous.

Ambiguous Terms

Some entities are defined by terms as ambiguous as “acute care inpatient hospitals,” “specialty hospitals,” or “anchor hospitals.” This ambiguity occurs because healthcare is increasingly provided on an outpatient basis, and general acute care inpatient hospitals face competition from a range of allied healthcare providers for the medical services they deliver.

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US Supreme Court Explains

For example, none other than the US Supreme Court has explained that the determination of relevant hospital product and geographic markets is “a necessary predicate” to deciding whether a hospital merger contravenes the Clayton Act (antitrust).

Assessment

For additional information, please see United States v. Marine Ban Corporation Inc., 418 U.S. 602, 618 (1974) (citing United States v. E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co., 353 U.S. 586, 593 (1957); Brown Shoe Co. v. United States, 370 U.S. 294, 324 (1962).

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Troubles Brewing for Physician Owned Hospitals

Financial Problems Predicted

Staff Reporterscrazy-house

According to the Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2009, a bill making its way through Congress to provide more low-income children with health-insurance coverage might mean financial trouble for scores of physician owned hospitals.  

 

Emergence and Growth

The very existence of doctor-owned hospitals is controversial. But, their numbers have tripled to about 200 since 1990.

The Supporters

Supporters say these hospitals, which usually focus on several lucrative services, such as cardiac care or orthopedics, are highly efficient, saving expenses for both patients and insurance programs, including Medicare.

More: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

The Critics

Critics say physicians who refer patients to hospitals with an ownership stake drive up costs, because they order more tests or perform unnecessary surgery. They argue that such hospitals also cherry pick healthy patients hurting surrounding non-profits hospitals.

Assessment

According to Pete Stark, chairman of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee, the proposed legislation would prohibit “the unethical kickbacks that physicians receive from ownership hospitals, most of which are of questionable safety and quality.”

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Do you agree, or disagree with the thesis; why or why not? Does this mean that not-for-profit hospitals, for-profit entities, or those hospitals with training programs don’t order un-needed tests? Are these hospitals and physician-investors, “crazy” or colorful and sane? 

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