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Healthcare Bill Levies 3.8 Percent Tax on Rents

Posted: March 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Investment, Leasing | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

One component of the Healthcare Bill that was passed is a new Medicare tax on investment income. Designed to help offset the cost of the overhaul of the healthcare system, a new tax of 3.8% is levied on investment income for individuals reporting more than $200,000 in income, and joint filers earning reporting more than $250,000. The tax will start in 2013, but the far-reaching definition of income is what should catch the attention of both landlords and tenants. Under the bill, investment income includes interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, capital gains, and rents.

Given the timetable for the tax, both landlords and tenants should be aware of the impact this tax could have on their rent, term, and operating expense provisions of their lease.

The Silicon Valley’s Perspective on the Massive Healthcare Bill…

Posted: March 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: News, Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

With so much at stake given the recent healthcare legislation, it’s interesting to consider a local perspective on the matter. The Business Journal recently published an article with the opinions of some of the Bay Area’s most influential healthcare leaders. For the most part, many are holding their breath awaiting further clarification on Bill’s policies and overall implications. The following is a glimpse of their perspectives. 

Jane Ogle, chief operating officer of the Santa Clara Family Health Plan, “called it 100 years overdue”. She expressed disappointment that the number of the Law’s provisions, including the establishment of insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medi-Cal, don’t take effect until 2014. But she called “huge” the protection given to the Healthy Families Program that provides low-cost insurance to children and teenagers who don’t qualify for Medi-Cal.

Paul Beaupre’, CEO of Good Samaritan Hospital, said that right now the federal government is talking about insuring people at the same rate as MediCal, the states program to cover the poor. But in California, this doesn’t ensure access to care, he said. Many physicians won’t accept these rates, which are some of the lowest in the nation for medical reimbursement. He added that the bill is an important first step, nonetheless. He hopes small business owners will finally see those premium increases subside.

Jim Dover, CEO of O’Connor Hospital, explained that when the expanded coverage begins in 2014, hospitals will see fewer uninsured patients in their emergency rooms. At O’Connor, which is run by Daughters of Charity Health System, about one third of those currently walking in through the doors have no insurance.

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Trending Away From Private Practice

Posted: March 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Trends | Tags: , | No Comments »

More and more doctors are shifting away from private practice towards salaried positions with hospitals and health systems. The New York Times has written an article about the trend, which has led the percentage of medical practices owned by doctors to less than 50%, down from around 70% five years ago.

As recently as 2005, more than two-thirds of medical practices were physician-owned — a share that had been relatively constant for many years, the Medical Group Management Association says. But within three years, that share dropped below 50 percent, and analysts say the slide has continued.

The trend away from small private practices is driven by growing concerns over medical errors and changes in government payments to doctors. But an even bigger push may be coming from electronic health records. The computerized systems are expensive and time-consuming for doctors, and their substantial benefits to patient safety, quality of care and system efficiency accrue almost entirely to large organizations, not small ones. The economic stimulus plan Congress passed early last year included $20 billion to spur the introduction of electronic health records.