Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Interesting story from the AP (courtesy of Yahoo!): "Children's Hospitals in Renovation Boom." The story refers to a 2003 study that tracked over $2.3 billion in renovations and other new construction at only four facilities.
Of particular note to health lawyers:
The boom stems from changes in U.S. health care that have given children's hospitals a larger share of a shrinking market, said Lawrence McAndrews, president of the National Association of Children's Hospitals. With managed care's emphasis on hospitalizing only the sickest patients, most children needing hospital care are now sent to children's hospitals.
Children's hospitals are "repackaging" themselves to attract patients and top doctors, and children-centered features are a key ingredient, McAndrews said.
Reminds me of the boom in psych hospitals and psych units within hospitals, as investors chased the higher (non-DRG) reimbursements that were available in the late 1980's and early 1990's. That led to massive fraud and abuse charges and equally massive settlements. How much do you want to bet that we will be reading about government scrutiny of some children's hospital's recruitment and billing practices before year's end? [tm]