Hospital developments: Calif. hospital chain fined in privacy case; Ore. officials say hospitals not overcharged on provider tax

Details on how hospitals around the nation are making deals, and getting fined, graded or taxed in this roundup.

Los Angeles Times: Prime Healthcare Services Is Fined $95,000 In Privacy Case
State officials have fined hospital chain Prime Healthcare Services Inc. $95,000 for violating patient confidentiality by sharing a woman's medical files with journalists and sending an email about her treatment to 785 hospital employees. The California Department of Public Health levied the fine this month after determining in May that Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding had five deficiencies related to the unauthorized disclosure of medical information on a diabetes patient treated there in 2010 (Terhune, 11/29).

The Lund Report: State Officials Insist Hospitals Not Overpaid Under Provider Tax
Poor Oregonians will receive an extra $2.033 billion in health care from mid-2011 through mid-2013, according to the latest estimates of the impact of a state tax on hospitals. Yet even many within the industry still don't understand the state's so-called provider tax, according to Judy Mohr-Peterson, director of medical assistance programs with the Oregon Health Authority. Hospitals will pay $685 million by the end of the current two-year fiscal biennium, Mohr-Peterson said. The Oregon Health Plan must use that money to pay for medical care at those hospitals, and to qualify for roughly $1.4 billion in federal reimbursement for OHP care. But there's no guarantee that any specific hospital will get back as much in reimbursements as it pays in taxes (Sherwood, 11/29).

Georgia Health News: 'A' Through 'F': Group Rates Georgia Hospitals
Eleven Georgia hospitals rated an "A"' grade on patient safety in an updated report card released Wednesday by the Leapfrog Group. The Washington-based nonprofit organization's ratings come five months after its first scorecard, and reflect more current data and some adjustments in methodology. The new Leapfrog list gave 27 hospitals in Georgia a "B" and 32 a "C."' Four received a "D" and one, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, got an "F" (Miller, 11/28).

Modern Healthcare: Vanguard Plans Another Deal In Conn.
Vanguard Health Systems, Nashville, has made further inroads into Connecticut, signing a second deal in the state with a letter of intent to acquire Bristol (Conn.) Hospital and Health Care Group. The for-profit system this month signed a deal to form a joint venture that would operate Waterbury (Conn.) Hospital. Financial terms for the Bristol deal were not disclosed. In a news release, Marie O'Brien, chairman of the Bristol Hospital board of directors, said the deal would allow the medical center to complete extensive renovations to its main campus and expand its outpatient services (Kutscher, 11/28).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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