Less and Fewer and 4,793 Hospitals

I’ll admit I have an irrational issue with those who misuse “less” and “fewer”.  According to usage rules, fewer is only to be used when discussing countable things, while less is used for singular mass nouns.  I have LESS to say, therefore I will use FEWER words. This is not disputed.  However, Dictionary.com points out that “Since the reign of Alfred the Great, a time when Old English was spoken, less has been used in the same way that fewer is currently used”.  To paraphrase: “people have been doing it wrong for a long time which makes it ok.”  I’m not onboard with that.

What I can get onboard with is the analysis behind Eric Percher’s athenahealth note which includes a look at no FEWER than 4,793 hospitals and ATHN’s acute economic model.  This and continued skepticism of management’s ability to capitalize on a technology advantage after years of operational and financial missteps, leads us to conclude that ATHN shares are worth more like $116 on a “status quo” basis – we ultimately kept a “Hold” rating on the stock given optimism thart Elliott’s bid of $160 will be a catalyst for change.  No LESS important was Nephron’s 14th piece on the CI/ESRX deal on the heels of its merger proxy filing.   Given the amount of lobbying, many of the details weren’t new, but some of the disclosures in the preliminary proxy were important, and the filing itself is a catalyst to move the merger toward the next steps.  Finally, we followed last Friday’s early thoughts on the American Patients First Blueprint (viewed as LESS deep than broad) with a  comprehensive overview and presented our own analysis point-by-point.  info@nephronresearch.com for more.