Judge OKs deferred prosecution in WakeMed case (Modern Healthcare)


February 8, 2013 – A federal judge is allowing North Carolina’s WakeMed Health and Hospitals (A1 / 65821DCR0) to take an unusual deal to avoid a criminal trial because the risk of closing down a Raleigh, N.C., hospital is too perilous for patients and workers. The not-for-profit WakeMed corporation was charged in December with one count of making materially false statements in order to increase Medicare reimbursements—an unprecedented criminal charge for a community hospital, according to prosecutors and numerous legal experts. Hospital officials admitted in court records that staff members in the Wake Heart Center on the system’s Raleigh campus routinely ignored or even fabricated physician orders, and as a result billed Medicare for inpatient care when cardiac patients didn’t stay overnight in the hospital.

Link to Full Article: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20130208/NEWS/302089948/breaking-judge-oks-deferred-prosecution-in-wakemed-case

Link to Court Order: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/assets/pdf/CH8549828.PDF

Link to WakeMed / OIG Corporate Integrity Agreement: https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/cia/agreements/Wakemed_Raleigh_Campus_12192012.pdf


Ohio budget a mixed bag for colleges, universities (Akron Beacon-Journal)


February 8, 2013 – In the first year of Gov. John Kasich’s proposed $63.2 billion, two-year budget,  17 of the state’s 61 universities, branch campuses and community colleges are expected to receive cuts although state higher education funding rises overall in the budget’s first year by about 2 percent to $1.78 billion, according to newly released estimates. Ohio State University is projected to receive a 3 percent increase under the plan, with three branch campuses experiencing cuts. OSU President E. Gordon Gee helped design the funding deal. Kent State and Cleveland State would see increases of more than 5 percent, Wright State of 3.5 percent and others smaller increases.

Link to Full Article: http://www.ohio.com/news/break-news/ohio-budget-a-mixed-bag-for-colleges-universities-1.371676

SUNY votes to close Brooklyn hospital (Crain’s NY Business)


February 8, 2013 – The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday to shutter money-losing Long Island College Hospital. But Brooklyn’s hospital crisis and questions about the future of parent organization, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, are far from resolved. The closure, which must first be approved by the state Health Department, could lead to the sale of the five-building campus just south of Atlantic Avenue and west of Hicks Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. SUNY Downstate purchased the complex in 2011. It was worth $143 million. If it were sold today, it could fetch more than $500 million, according to brokers who say it would be most valuable if redeveloped for residential use.

Oakland’s American Indian charter schools one step closer to closure (Oakland Tribune)


January 21, 2013 – It boasts some of the highest test scores in the state, but Oakland’s American Indian Model Schools organization has failed to safeguard its schools from corrupt fiscal practices and should be shut down, Oakland school district administration has concluded.  Last year, state auditors examined the charter organization’s records and issued a report in June citing evidence that the founder of AIM Schools and his wife used public funds for the schools to enrich themselves. Auditors found $3.8 million in questionable expenditures, rife with conflicts of interest, from construction contracts and lease agreements.  If Oakland Unified School District does vote to yank the charter, the organization would have the chance to appeal to the Alameda County Board of Education and, later, to the state board.

Link to Full Article: http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_22414169/oaklands-american-indian-charter-schools-one-step-closer


Opinion: Texas budget process is about as clear as mud (SA Express-News)


January 21, 2013 – State leaders are proclaiming their dedication to a clearer, more honest budgeting process, but their starting-point spending plans show they’ve got a long way to go. House and Senate leaders noted their respective plans show an overall spending decrease from the current two-year budget, once they pay this fiscal cycle’s lingering IOUs. But that’s only because they are moving $6 billion off the books. For more than two decades, patient payments to higher education institutions that provide medical care have been included in the Texas budget’s bottom line. This time, those payments won’t be included. There are reasons for the change: state officials don’t control the money, and other local university income is also off the books.

Link to Full Article: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/news_columnists/peggy_fikac/article/Budget-process-is-about-as-clear-as-mud-4209620.php


Editorial: Help California school districts by letting them raise their own tax revenue (LA Times)


January 17, 2013 – Gov. Jerry Brown wants to help inner-city schools at the expense of suburbanites. But there must be a better way to assist the disadvantaged than to trigger class warfare. And there is. It is to give school districts a better opportunity to raise their own tax revenue. That could involve reducing the voter threshold needed for levying parcel taxes from two-thirds to 55%. This idea currently is kicking around the Legislature. But so far it hasn’t been linked to Brown’s new school-funding proposal. Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, is proposing legislation that would allow school districts to raise parcel taxes for day-to-day operations by a 55% vote.

Link to Full Article: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap-schools-20130117,0,7549216.column


Hard-hit PA school districts push back against charter schools (Pittsburgh Tribune)


January 17, 2013 – Western Pennsylvania school districts that are losing students and money to charter schools are fighting back. The Penn Hills school board this week approved spending $3,500 a month for two years of advertising on TV and the Internet. Woodland Hills will pay $13.9 million — nearly 17 percent of its annual budget — to charter schools this year to educate more than 1,150 children who live in the district, the most students among 49 suburban districts the Tribune-Review surveyed. About 22 percent of eligible students there go to charter schools. Penn Hills is sending 787 students to charter schools at a cost of $8.1 million.

Link to Full Article: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/3253758-74/charter-schools-districts#axzz2IILXSL8T

Link to PA Charter School Enrollment Data: http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=BrvKuRlKXnSyv$2WjTHJ6JM5tm0Zxrvol3sywaAHBAm_3vJewNlKptRCOH1dl7lVE0$uXvBjavsllACLNr6VhLEUIm2tympBeeq1Fwi7sIigrCfKm_F3DhYfWov3omce$8CAqP1xDAFoSAgEcS6kSQ–&CONTENTTYPE=application/pdf&CONTENTDISPOSITION=ptr-gx-charter-011713.pdf