July 19, 2013
Authored and edited by Amy Kaufman*
Mount Sinai and Continuum Health to Create New System
Modern Healthcare (7/17) reports that Mount Sinai Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners (Continuum), which includes Beth Israel Medical Center and two other hospitals, will merge this fall, pending regulatory approval. Mount Sinai Health System, the proposed name for the combined institutions, will be New York City's largest system. According to the agreement reached by the hospitals' boards, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will be the only academic affiliation for the new system. Physicians and scientists who are affiliated with Continuum will be permitted to accept appointments with the school. (Note: registration is required to access this article.)
U.S. News and World Report Releases Hospital Rankings; Massachusetts General Falls to Second Place
Boston White Coat News (7/16) reports that Massaschusetts Genreal Hospital (Mass. General) fell to number two in the U.S. News and World Report's honor roll of the country's top hospitals this year. Mass. General held the number one spot in 2012-2013, knocking Johns Hopkins Hospital down in the rankings after it held the post for 21 years. This year Johns Hopkins Hospital returned to the number one spot, followed by Mass. General, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.
CEO of LSU Health Care Services Steps Down
Modern Healthcare (7/13) reports that Dr. Michael Kaiser, the chief executive and chief medical officer of Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Care Services, will resign in August. Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has been working to privatize six of the seven charity hospitals that are part of the LSU Health Care Service Division, in large part due to the financial burden they impose on the state, since Kaiser became chief executive last fall. Kaiser has indicated that his decision to step down is based on personal reasons.
GAO Reports on Increase in Self-Referrals for Anatomic Pathology Services
MedPage Today (7/16) reports on the growth of referrals for anatomic pathology services since 2004. According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released on Monday, physician self-referrals for anatomic pathology services under the Medicare program doubled between 2004 and 2010, while non-self-referred services increased only 38% during the same period. GAO recommended three ways in which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services could elminate gratuitous increases in such biopsies, such as developing a method to ensure that self-referring providers are appropriately referring patients for these procedures. Supporters of self-referrals, however, "note that such arrangements allow providers to make rapid diagnoses, improve care coordinatoin, and provide conveninent access for patients."
*We would like to thank Amy E. Kaufman, Esquire (Patton Boggs LLP, Washington, DC), for authoring and editing this week's update.