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Primary care practices in Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota and New York’s Erie and Niagara Counties can now apply to participate in the second round of CMS’s Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) model.

For the second time under the Trump administration, CMS has delayed the implementation date of bundled payments for cardiac care and an expansion of a joint replacement model, which are now due to begin Jan. 1, 2018, opening the door to additional changes, like making the models voluntary rather than mandatory.  

Two large hospitals in the Los Angeles area would be under the same parent organization under a proposed affiliation plan announced by Cedars-Sinai and Torrance Memorial Medical Center.

Geisinger Health System and insurer Highmark have signed a letter of intent for a new joint venture to develop a new clinical network and reimbursement in four Pennsylvania counties.

New renderings have been released of the new pediatric and obstetric hospital campus at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, which is now slated to open in December, five years after the groundbreaking for the facility. 

 

Recent Headlines

CMS: 45% of provider locations in Medicare Advantage directories are inaccurate

A CMS review of provider directories set up by Medicare Advantage plans found many listed the wrong phone numbers or locations for physicians or incorrectly labeled physicians as accepting new patients.

Long-term uninsured made up most of ACA’s initial coverage gains

People who had gone three years or more without having health insurance made up more than half of the gains in coverage in 2014, the first year of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s insurance marketplace and Medicaid expansion. 

Half of ICU patients didn’t need intensive care in single-center study

More than half of intensive-care unit (ICU) patients (53 percent) at one large teaching hospital would have received more appropriate care in a different, less intensive setting. 

WellCare acquires Arizona health plans, names new leadership

Medical insurance company WellCare Health Plans has acquired two Arizona health plans and named a new executive to oversee the transition.

Pennsylvania medical college integrates with Geisinger Health System

The new year has brought the final approvals to legally integrate Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Medical College into Geisinger Health System, creating the new Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

Healthcare.gov sign-up deadline pushed back

HHS pushed back the deadline for customers to buy coverage on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s federally run insurance exchange, giving buyers until Dec. 19 to pick a health plan which will go into effect in the new year.

New ACO model for dual-eligible beneficiaries announced by CMS

CMS has announced the creation of the Medicare-Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model, aiming to improve care coordination for beneficiaries who are enrolled in both programs.

Mississippi ranked last in annual state health report

High levels of smoking and poverty contributed to Mississippi being ranked 50th in the 2016 edition of America’s Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation, which also identified some national trends which could reverse recent gains made in other categories of health.

ACA exchange sign-ups outpacing last year

The number of enrollees in plans offered on health insurance exchanges has increased slightly compared to the last open enrollment period, with sign-ups accelerating before the deadline to get coverage starting Jan. 1, 2017.

Flu vaccine coverage well below CDC targets

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported only 40 percent of Americans have received this season’s flu vaccine. It’s about the same coverage as the prior season—but well behind the agency’s target of 70 percent.

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