ShareThis Page
Letters to the Editor

Healthier than reported?

| Thursday, June 17, 2004

The June 9 article "Council report differs from tax returns" provides an inaccurate description of hospital financial data published by Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, or PHC4.

The article indicates that PHC4 uses "partial information submitted by the hospitals." To the contrary, income and losses reflected in PHC4's report include all applicable revenues and expenses. The data are derived directly from hospitals' annual financial statements prepared by independent auditors.

The reason PHC4's data for Frick and Westmoreland Regional hospitals differ from the numbers supplied to the IRS, and reported in the article, is that the IRS data reflect the entire Westmoreland Health System, while PHC4 data are specific to Frick and Westmoreland hospitals.

Finally, the article attributes the $13 million loss figure to PHC4's report. The losses actually reported by PHC4 were $3.9 million for Frick and $1.5 million for Westmoreland Regional -- a combined $5.4 million loss.

PHC4 goes to great lengths to ensure that its reports provide an accurate reflection of Pennsylvania's hospital-based health care delivery system. It is disappointing this was not reflected in the article.

Joe Martin
Harrisburg

The writer is communications director for the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me