We don’t know exactly what the article is going to say, but it appears it will likely have something to do with the volume of procedures it performs for its patients.
It’s stock didn’t exactly respond well to the move — it’s down -7.
Plus the DOJ now appears to be investigating some of the issues the pre-buttal hinted at, according to Reuters.
Anyway here’s the text:
August 6, 2012
We understand that The New York Times may be publishing one or more articles about the company. Based upon its questions, the Times appears to be making broad points concerning patient care provided at our company’s affiliated hospitals. As a result, we would like to share some background information.
One topic we believe may be addressed is how physician decisions are made regarding when it is medically necessary to perform cardiac procedures, such as cardiac catheterizations and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). These physician-driven decisions have been and are the subject of much debate within the cardiology community. Accordingly, there is variation across the country, between regions, within regions, and even within the same medical staff or medical group regarding this issue. In addition, even when expert outside reviewers are engaged, they themselves may disagree on the same patient data. Thus, variation and disagreement among physicians indicates the difficulty in determining the medical necessity of
Another topic which may be addressed is the volume of cardiac catheterizations and PCIs. Based upon Medicare inpatient data, trends for HCA-affiliated hospitals are similar to the rest of the nation for these procedures. Moreover, our data indicate that the number of both cardiac catheterizations and PCIs performed at HCA-affiliated facilities has declined over the last decade.
Below are four charts that demonstrate these trends:
Patient Care Outcomes:
In its communications with us, The Times has given us examples where they assert that individual patients may have had adverse outcomes from the care they received at HCAaffiliated facilities. While there were approximately 20 million visits to our facilities last year, we deeply regret any adverse occurrences to even one of our patients. HCA-affiliated physicians and employees strive to provide the highest quality care and minimize adverse outcomes.
One of the most widely-accepted sets of clinical quality measures is the “Core Measures,” published on the CMS Hospital Compare website. More than 90 per cent of HCA hospitals are in the top quartile nationally on Core Measures, and more than 80 per cent are in the top 10 per cent. Approximately half of our U.S. hospitals are on the Joint Commission’s list of 405 Top Performers in key quality measures of evidence-based care.
The Times also has raised questions about our adoption of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) evaluation and management guidelines for the purpose of reimbursement. As HCA explained in our public releases in 2009, the ACEP model provides a national standard for more consistent classification of emergency visits for reimbursement purposes. We believe our classifications are generally consistent with national averages.