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The Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program, which aims to test payments to rural facilities under a “reasonable cost-based methodology” for Medicare inpatient services, has 17 returning and 13 new participants as part of a five-year extension of the program.

A California judge ruled Sacramento-based Sutter Health “intentionally destroyed” 192 boxes of documents which were sought in an antitrust lawsuit against the not-for-profit health system.

Shareholders of the Advisory Board Company signed off on the $1.3 billion sale of its healthcare division to UnitedHealth Group’s Optum health services segment.

Policymakers may think elderly Americans should be satisfied with their Medicare coverage, but, according to new research from the Commonwealth Fund, they come in last place when compared to senior healthcare in 10 other countries.

Price growth in healthcare was at a 1.1 percent annual rate as of Sept. 2017 compared to the year prior, according to the Altarum Institute, coming close to the all-time low of 0.9 percent annual growth seen in Dec. 2015.

 

Recent Headlines

ACA enrollment brings Catch-22 for insurers, confusion for customers

Nov. 1 marks the beginning of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges’ open enrollment period. Customers can expect some sticker shock with the most popular plans’ premiums rising by an average of 34 percent. Insurers, in turn, can expect fewer customers.

Medicare Shared Savings ACOs saved $652M in 2016

The more than 400 accountable care organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) in 2016 generated $652 million in gross savings, with the majority coming from groups which have been in the program since 2012 or 2013.

Tenet reportedly won’t be sold as it posts $366M loss

One of the largest for-profit hospital operators in the U.S., Tenet Healthcare, has halted plans to sell itself after the early exit of CEO and chairman Trevor Fetter, Reuters reports.

Aetna rumored to be in talks for sale to CVS

Retail and pharmacy giant CVS in reportedly in talks to buy Aetna, one of the largest health insurers in the U.S., in a deal valued at more than $66 billion.

34% average premium hike for silver plans on ACA exchanges

The most popular health plans on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s exchanges, silver-level plans, will require 34 percent higher premiums on average in 2018, according to an analysis from Avalere Health. The average hike for the second-lowest-priced silver plans, often considered the benchmark for the exchanges, will be 38 percent.

Select Medical, Dignity Health to merge urgent care business

Two of the top operators of urgent care centers have entered into a definitive agreement to combine their urgent care business into one of the largest in the industry.

AMA: 69% of metro areas have ‘significant absence’ of health insurer competition

Health insurance markets have become increasingly consolidated, according to a study released by the American Medical Association (AMA), with more metropolitan areas meeting the federal definition of a “highly concentrated” market and more insurers attaining a 50 percent market share

5 things to know about negotiating bundled payments

Bundled payment models have been more slowly adopted among commercial insurers compared to numerous government models pushed by CMS. For providers, commercial bundles can offer plenty of opportunities, according to Penny Noyes, president and CEO of Health Business Navigators, as long as practices, as she puts it, “think like a payer” in negotiations.

2017 hospital M&A activity outpacing 2016

The number of hospital mergers and acquisitions (M&A) has reached 87 through the end of the third quarter, according to an analysis from consulting firm Kaufman Hall, putting 2017 M&A activity in the sector on pace to surpass the 102 deals that were completed in 2016.

Hurricanes cost HCA $140M in Q3

The impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma on hospitals owned by Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare was spelled out in a preview of its third quarter earnings report, with the company saying it lost $140 million thanks to additional expenses and lost revenue at its facilities in Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

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