Thursday, April 03, 2008

MIT students abroad

The students with whom I went to Florence as part of an MIT Urban Studies class have sent me a message that they expect more coverage on this blog. The class is called City to City, and involves a comparison of attributes and characteristics between Boston and another city (this year, Florence). The students actually had to do a lot of work while in Tuscany, but they also were allowed to be tourists, and as seen in the pictures here, were happy to test out the local food.


Anonymous said...

Was curious as to whether you saw the leading article in the WSJ today, "Nonprofit Hospitals, Once for the Poor, Strike it Rich." I'm an employee at BIDMC and have been impressed with the direction and transparency at the hospital during my 2 years here. The article mentioned that many non-profit hospitals were coming under pressure from legislators to improve their charitable care. This seems somewhat similar to the recent coverage we've seen on non-profit universities, questioning the value of the public service they offer to their communities. I was wondering if you'd seen the article and had any thoughts on the issue. Also, in regards to transparency, does BIDMC quantify the tax breaks they receive as well as the value of their charitable care?

The Happy Hospitalist said...

I'm also curious, when you report charitable care as write offs on the books, do you write off the full price of a cash paying customer, or do you write off the value of the contracted reduction in payment by CMS? Or a blended average of all third party payers?

For example. Imagine you had 100 million dollars in hospital charges to Medicare, but only expect to collect 50 million dollars due to contracted reduction in payments. If you had the same 100 million dollars in charges to the uninsured, would your hospital claim, for tax purposes or what not that it was providing 100 million dollars in charitable care or 50 million dollars in charitable care.