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Blog | Strategic Partnerships Mergers and Acquisitions

Healthcare News of Note: New CMS data set makes hospital and skilled nursing facility ownership changes more transparent

Blog | Strategic Partnerships Mergers and Acquisitions

Healthcare News of Note: New CMS data set makes hospital and skilled nursing facility ownership changes more transparent

  • There were 348 changes in ownership among hospitals and 3,236 among skilled nursing facilities between 2016 and 2021, with wide variation across states.
  • The Black Coalition Against COVID recently released a report to bring attention to the continued burden of COVID-19 in the Black community.
  • Burnout and high-stress environments are the top reasons nurses gave for wanting to leave their current employer.

Over the last few weeks, I have found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals. 

1. Data transparency about healthcare provider ownership can serve important policy goals, says new report by CMS

An April 20 federal government report, “Changes of Ownership of Hospital and Skilled Nursing Facilities,” explores a new CMS data set and “offers preliminary insights into how these data on ownership changes can support policies bolstering competition in health care as well as ensuring program integrity in Medicare and Medicaid.”

“Publicly-available data on ownership changes will enable researchers and policymakers to have a more detailed understanding of ownership of health care facilities and concentration of health care markets,” wrote the report’s authors. “These data can also allow regulators to better track consolidation in health care provider markets and, in the long run, support pro-competitive policies that can help reduce health care costs.”

Report highlights

There were 348 changes in ownership among hospitals and 3,236 among skilled nursing facilities between 2016 and 2021, with wide variation across states, according to the report, which is based on analyses of data provided by the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS).

According to the report’s authors, ownership changes were more common in:

  • Medium and larger hospitals (compared to small hospitals)
  • Hospitals with low profit margins (compared to more profitable hospitals)
  • Long-term care hospitals

States with most changes

Nationally, 4.6% of hospitals were sold over the full study period, but the rate at which hospitals were sold varied by state, according to the report.

“South Carolina had the highest rate of hospital ownership change; of its 73 hospitals, 14 (19.2%) changed ownership during this six-year period,” stated the report. “Kentucky, New Jersey, and Connecticut also had rates above 10%. A majority of states had rates of 4% or lower.”  

2. Report examines consequences of the pandemic for Black Americans and notes there’s much work yet to do

The Black Coalition Against COVID (BCAC) recently released a report, “The state of Black America and COVID-19: A two-year assessment,” to bring attention to the continued burden of COVID-19 in the Black community.

“As of this report’s release, we understand that there remains unfinished work yet to do to save and protect our communities from the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Reed Tuckson, MD, in the report’s opening statement. “We commissioned this two-year report because we believe it is important to examine the consequences of the pandemic for Black America. … We understand that even after the pandemic resolves, the disparities in health status experienced by the Black community prior to the pandemic must be urgently addressed.”

Report highlights

Among the report’s key takeaways :

  • 50% of Black respondents to one 2020 survey reported experiencing financial challenges.
  • 65- to 74-year-old Black Americans were five times more likely to die compared to white Americans.
  • Black people ages 75 to 84 were almost four times more likely to die than their white counterparts.
  • Between April 2020 and June 2021, one in 310 Black children lost a parent or caregiver compared to one in 738 white children.
  • There was a consistent 10-percentage-point gap in vaccination rates between Black and white adults in the initial months following the availability of vaccines.
  • Vaccination rates from May 2021 showed that Black Americans were less likely to be vaccinated compared to their white counterparts.
  • Since September 2021, the gap in adult vaccination rates has narrowed. The gap for Black Americans 65 and older closed prior to September.

3. 34% of nurses surveyed say it’s ‘very likely’ they will leave their current job by the end of 2022

More than a third of nurses surveyed by Incredible Health indicated “it is very likely” they will leave their current job by the end of 2022.

The top reasons for nurses’ decisions to leave their current place of employment are:

  • 44% cite burnout and a high-stress environment
  • 27% indicate benefits and pay

Of those who plan to leave their current job by the end of this year, their plans are as follows:

  • 40% plan to pursue a nursing role elsewhere
  • 32% plan to leave the field altogether or retire
  • 27% intend to become travel nurses
  • 23% will switch careers
  • 10% plan to retire

Relocation/location less of an issue

“Location has become less of a reason for nurses to reject a job interview, dropping 28% from the previous year,” wrote the survey authors. “What does this mean? Nurses are more open to relocating to find roles that better fit their needs and preferences.”

For this, its third such survey, Incredible Health analyzed its own proprietary hiring data of over 400,000 nurses, surveyed nurses who utilize the Incredible Health platform nationwide and also surveyed more than 2,500 registered nurses in the United States in February.

HFMA bonus content

  • HFMA members can access all of the content in the May issue of hfm magazine. 
  • Register for HFMA’s Annual Conference to be held June 26-29 in Denver.     
  • Listen to one of the latest Voices in Healthcare Finance podcast episodes, featuring Anthony Comfort of VisiQuate discussing opportunities to implement technology in clinical operations and the revenue cycle.

About the Author

Deborah Filipek

is a senior editor with HFMA, Westchester, Ill. 

Sign up for a free guest account and get access to five free articles every month.

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