- Oracle announced on March 15 another extension — this one until April 13 — of a tender offer to acquire Cerner.
- More than half of U.S. adults with incomes below $25,000 and medical debt had their bills sent to debt collectors, and many others with medical debt have skipped rent or mortgage payments.
- High empathetic leadership increases employee innovation and engagement.
Over the last few weeks, I have found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.
1. Oracle again extends its $28.3B tender offer to acquire Cerner
Oracle Corporation announced another extension — this one until April 13 — of a tender offer to acquire Cerner Corporation, according to a March 15 news release. The announcement came the day before the $28.3 billion tender offer was set to expire at midnight March 16.
“The tender offer remains subject to, among other conditions, clearances under applicable foreign competition and foreign direct investment laws,” the news release states. “The tender offer was extended to allow additional time for the satisfaction of the remaining conditions to the tender offer.”
A March 11 article in Seeking Alpha reported that Oracle shares “slipped by 1.5% in pre-market trading on Friday [March 11] after the business software giant reported fiscal third-quarter results that missed estimates and investment firm Morgan Stanley said the pending Cerner … deal provides uncertainty about the company's outlook.”
Analyst Keith Weiss is quoted in the article saying: “‘[Oracle] management views the healthcare vertical as highly strategic,’ and is focused on combining Cerner's industry relationships with Oracle's ‘industry-specific features to deliver an integrated offering.’”
2. Healthcare debt impacts Americans differently across generations and income levels
More than half of U.S. adults with incomes below $25,000 and medical debt had their bills sent to debt collectors, according to an updated analysis published March 7 by HealthCare.com.
“Income naturally plays a role when it comes to medical debt,” wrote author Dan Grunebaum.
“Among those with medical debt and an income below $10,000 (60%) or between $10,000-$24,999 (52%), at least half have had their bills sent to debt collectors,” added Grunebaum. In addition, he wrote, “23% of those with an income under $10,000 say they will turn to crowdfunding to obtain funds to pay their medical debt.”
The survey, which was conducted Oct. 29-Nov. 1 among a national sample of 2,852 U.S. adults ages 18 and up, also details how various generations of Americans are being affected by medical debt.
Findings across generations
“Americans are also skipping purchases because of medical debt,” Grunebaum wrote. Across generations, there is concern among a majority of survey respondents “that medical debt will affect their ability to save.”
Here are additional findings:
- 25% of Gen Z and 23% of millennials with medical debt skipped rent or mortgage payments because of their debt
- 25% of Gen X, 12% of baby boomers and 14% of the silent generation also skipped rent or mortgage payments because of debt
- 26% of Gen Z and 25% of millennials said their medical debt was caused by seeking care after an accident or injury
- 18% of Gen X and 17% of baby boomers said their medical debt was caused by chronic disease
Trips to the ED are a top cause of medical debt
An Affordable Health Insurance survey, in which 1,250 Americans were polled Feb. 18-19, also provides several takeaways about the number of Americans with medical debt:
- 23% of Americans owe $10,000 or more in medical debt
- 56% reported having some medical debt
- 44% said a trip to the ED was the source of their medical debt
- 69% of Americans with health insurance purchased through the marketplace have medical debt
- 61% of Americans with employer-provided health insurance have medical debt
“Regardless of how much they owe, or how the debt was incurred, 32% of Americans with medical debt say it’s ‘unlikely’ or ‘very unlikely’ that they will be able to pay off their medical bills in their lifetime,” wrote the authors of the survey.
3. Empathetic leaders in today’s workplace are no longer just a ‘nice to have,’ says Catalyst survey
“We found that empathy is an important driver of employee outcomes such as innovation, engagement, and inclusion — especially in times of crisis,” wrote the authors a recent Catalyst report based on a survey of 900 employees working across industries.
“In short, empathy is a must-have in today’s workplace,” they added.
Eight percent of survey respondents work in healthcare and 9% in financial services. Other industries represented included information services/IT support, education, retail and government.
Here are some findings on the impact of high empathic leadership versus less empathic leadership:
- 61% of people with highly empathic senior leaders and 47% of people with highly empathic managers report often or always being innovative at work compared to only 13% of people with less empathic senior leaders or managers.
- 76% of people with highly empathic senior leaders and 67% of people with highly empathic managers report often or always being engaged versus only 32% of people with less empathic senior leaders and 24% of people with less empathic managers.
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Read the article “Federal funding bill addresses 340B eligibility concerns but not some other points of interest for hospitals,” by Nick Hut, senior editor.