GRAND RAPIDS — Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital's planned $51.3 million expansion and renovation project represents the largest health care construction project in West Michigan in some time.
Construction overall in the region, as with much of the nation, still remains soft following the recession, and health care projects the last few years have primarily involved small developments such as nursing homes and medical office buildings.
GRAND RAPIDS — Lost in the buzz generated earlier this month by the Supreme Court upholding the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act was a related aspect of health care reform signed in 2009 that encourages hospitals and physicians getting reimbursed for Medicare and Medicaid to digitize their health records by 2015.
Come 2015, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (Hitech) Act adds teeth to its requirements and begins to reduce Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for those hospitals and physicians that have not switched from paper to electronic records.
WYOMING — A new chief medical officer signs on with Metro Health as health care providers adjust to perhaps the largest period of change ever seen.
Dave Duffey, MD, joined the Wyoming, Mich.-based Metro Health in July from Spectrum Health, where he worked for nearly eight years, most recently as director of the pediatric hospitalist program and director of safety, quality and clinical innovation at the Spectrum Health Medical Group.
WEST MICHIGAN — A state initiative to improve nutrition for young children and their physical fitness launches a broader effort by Gov. Rick Snyder to reduce Michigan's burgeoning obesity rate that costs billions annually in medical claims and drives up health premiums.
Introduced this month, the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 by 4 Plan relies largely on education and public awareness to further the governor's message of health and wellness, which comes at a time when nearly one-third of the state's residents are obese.
KALAMAZOO — What started as a simple inquiry to clients on how they communicate their workplace wellness program to employees turned into a larger project for Shawn Connors over the last year.
The result is an eBook from Connors, president of the Kalamazoo health care communications company Hope Health. The eBook offers five "concrete" steps for employers on how to get their work force involved in living healthier.
WEST MICHIGAN — Bad debt and uncompensated care at hospitals across Michigan moved higher during the recession, a cost that eventually creeps into the premiums employers pay for health coverage.
The Michigan Health and Hospital Association's annual community benefits report shows bad debt across the state totaled $609.7 million for the 2010 fiscal year, the most recent year for which data were analyzed. The total represents an increase of $54 million from the prior year.
WEST MICHIGAN — The latest addition to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital's statewide care network may very well transition into an acquisition and potentially lead to further expansion in the region.
Under a letter of intent between the two, Mary Free Bed can acquire a controlling stake in the Southwest Regional Rehabilitation Center in Battle Creek at any time. At this point, Mary Free Bed is proceeding with the notion that an acquisition will eventually occur, CEO Kent Riddle said.
WEST MICHIGAN — Rarely does a hospital CEO welcome the opportunity to have fewer beds filled with patients and perform fewer diagnostic tests.
It seems counter to one's business interests. Yet Roger Spoelman is outright excited about that prospect occurring under a new deal with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan that bases payments to hospitals and doctors on how well they do their jobs — including keeping people out of the hospital.
Trinity Health executive Roger Spoelman's excitement over empty hospital beds might seem odd. After a recent agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Trinity will be paid based on performance, not on a fee-for-service model. The move has the potential to curb rising health care costs by better managing care, especially for high-cost conditions.
Cardiac patients are nearly three times more likely to undergo heart angioplasty if they live in St. Joseph than if they were in Grand Rapids and more than twice as likely than if they were in Muskegon.
Researchers behind that finding say it illustrates the difference in how health care varies across Michigan based on local practices. They also say it illustrates the need for a greater focus on when and why specific medical procedures are performed.
WEST MICHIGAN — Just like other health care providers, Holland Hospital always pursued a goal of continuous improvement in the quality of the care it provides.
After finally securing insurance coverage to treat children with autism, advocates and care providers now need to work to develop a much broader care network to ensure the promise of their legislative victory comes true in the years ahead.
WEST MICHIGAN — A plan coming soon from Lansing will seek to marshal forces and encourage more employers to jump into the wellness movement to counter Michigan’s burgeoning obesity rate that’s costing businesses heavy dollars.
Seated at his desk at Borgess Heart Institute last month, Dr. Tim Fischell remembers the “a-ha moment” that launched what would become Ostial Solutions LLC.
Employers have many questions they need to answer as health care reform brings massive changes to how employers buy their employee health coverage.