SOURCE: HCPro

HCPro

February 14, 2013 09:15 ET

HealthLeaders Media and Bank of America Merrill Lynch Begin Yearlong "Executive Insight" Project

Debut Report Focuses on Changing Structures of Capital Finance, Finds Healthcare Executives Closely Monitoring Healthcare Reform Laws and Possible Federal Sequestration for Impact on Capital Investments

DANVERS, MA--(Marketwire - Feb 14, 2013) - HealthLeaders Media, a division of HCPro, Inc., today announced the kickoff of a new relationship with Bank of America Merrill Lynch in which the two companies will collaborate on a series of research projects in 2013 designed to provide healthcare executives with insight into the economics of their industry.

 "The four-part series will consist of quarterly 'buzz' surveys on key industry topics, the publication of special Executive Insight reports analyzing the results of the surveys, and executive roundtable discussions with senior finance executives from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and leading provider organizations," said Matthew Cann, vice president of media and analytics at HealthLeaders Media. "We are also launching a dedicated Executive Insight Center microsite on HealthLeadersMedia.com (www.healthleadersmedia.com/eic), featuring an array of custom content and additional expert analysis."

The first project, focused on the changing structures of capital finance, made its debut this week. The buzz survey conducted as part of the project found that while the bond market is still, by a slim margin, the most popular funding source preferred by healthcare executives, only one out of three survey respondents intends to use bonds as a primary source of capital in the next two to three years. In fact, 44% don't intend to tap bonds at all (climbing to 50% among C-level executives), while roughly 30% intend to rely on investment income as a primary source of funding for capital projects.

 "The results of our proprietary survey of U.S. healthcare executives show that healthcare reform and the threat of sequestration of federal funding remain significant drivers of capital investment as providers prepare for their impact," said John Hesselmann, Specialized Industries executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Part of the company's Global Commercial Banking business, Specialized Industries provides healthcare clients with such solutions as core credit and treasury management, and also helps provide leasing, retirement capabilities and other capital-raising products.

 Hesselmann noted that survey respondents by an overwhelming margin said changes to healthcare reform laws were the biggest drivers of capital investments, with 65% saying they are major influence and another 23% citing them as a minor influence.

The buzz survey also found that healthcare organizations are prioritizing by investing more in information systems and IT infrastructure, while cutting back in some cases on things like new facilities. Regardless of which specific areas are receiving the greatest allocations, the survey found that nearly all healthcare organizations are making some level of capital commitments, with just 6% of surveyed executives planning no capital investment at all in the next 12-18 months.

 "We are primarily investing in three areas: health information technology; facility upgrades; and mergers, acquisitions, and other partnerships," said Robert S. Shapiro, executive vice president and CFO at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in Manhasset, N.Y. "We'd be doing these even if there were no major changes coming in how care is delivered and paid for, except that we are putting more emphasis on acquisitions."

 The second research project in the collaboration between HealthLeaders Media and Bank of America Merrill Lynch is scheduled for an April launch and will focus on capital finance and industry consolidation.

HealthLeaders Media
HealthLeaders Media, a division of HCPro, Inc., is a leading multi-platform media company dedicated to meeting the business information needs of healthcare executives and professionals. As an integrated media company, HealthLeaders Media includes HealthLeaders magazine, HealthLeadersMedia.com, the HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Unit, HealthLeaders Media Rounds events, HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs reports, and California HealthFax. All these platforms may be found online at www.healthleadersmedia.com.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 53 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,500 retail banking offices and approximately 16,300 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the marketing name for the global banking and global markets businesses of Bank of America Corporation. Lending, derivatives, and other commercial banking activities are performed globally by banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation, including Bank of America, N.A., member FDIC. Securities, strategic advisory, and other investment banking activities are performed globally by investment banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation ("Investment Banking Affiliates"), including, in the United States, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, which is a registered broker-dealer and a member of FINRA and SIPC, and, in other jurisdictions, locally registered entities. Investment products offered by Investment Banking Affiliates: Are Not FDIC Insured * May Lose Value * Are Not Bank Guaranteed.

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